Lao People's Democratic Republic: Nam Ngum River Basin Development Sector Project

Sovereign Project | 33356-013 Status: Closed

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Project Name Nam Ngum River Basin Development Sector Project
Project Number 33356-013
Country Lao People's Democratic Republic
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 1933-LAO: Nam Ngum River Basin Development Sector Project
Asian Development Fund US$ 15.00 million
Loan: Nam Ngum River Basin Development Sector Project
Agence Francaise de Developpement US$ 3.80 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development - Water-based natural resources management

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming

The Project's two immediate objectives were to (i) foster and institutionalize IWRM in the mainstream management process of the Government at the central, provincial, and district levels; and (ii) support investment interventions in relatively degraded parts of NNRB to ensure sustainable watershed management and to provide livelihood opportunities for the poor and ethnic groups. The Project had three main components: (i) IWRM, (ii) reservoir management and river basin modeling, and (iii) watershed management. The Project was physically completed on 30 September 2010.

In response to the government's request, the Asian Development Bank approved an additional financing project on 26 September 2011. The new project will promote participatory sub-basin management, consolidate and expand khet (village cluster) extension service center operations, and strengthen village development revolving fund mechanism.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

In Lao PDR, water is vital for the country's economic development, which is mainly based on agricultural production and hydropower generation. Agriculture contribures about 40% and hydropower another 30% to total foreign exchange earnings. About 90% of the population depends on agriculture. Optimal use of water resources is critical to realizing the Government's strategic objectives of poverty reduction and sustainanble economic growth.

This Project is the culmination of continuing efforts of the Government and ADB over the last several years to establish and strengthen water sector institutions for their closer and more effective coordination. The design of this Project will afford the first opportunity to central and provincial departments to implement IWRM through hands-on, closely interlinked activities.

The Project's development approach is consistent with the Government's 20-Year Plan; Five-Year Socioeconomic Development Plan, 2001-2005; and Public Investment Program. The Project's sector lending modality, in terms of area and time slice, supports the Government's development and public investment plans as laid out in the last two documents.

Impact Optimal use of water resources in the Nam Ngum River Basin
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

1. Implement integrated water resources management (IWRM) in NNRB.

2. Provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to upland poor and ethnic groups

Progress Toward Outcome

Department of Water Resources, under Water Resources & Environment Administration's (WREA), was established to build on technical IWRM capacities. Following completion of Component 1A, support to WREA's IWRM program has been taken up under the ADB/AusAID-financed TA "Updating the National Water Policy and Strategy Project" and its supplementary financing.

Extension activities were conducted to facilitate improved performance of (i) cropping systems; (ii) livestock and fisheries systems; and (iii) forest systems. This was achieved through participatory planning processes and better management of land, forests, water and natural resources at the village, khet (village cluster), district and provincial levels.

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Integrated Water Resources Management - Water Resources Coordination Committee Secretariat (WRCCS) strengthened

Integrated Water Resources Management - NNRB Committee (NNRBC) strengthened to support the WRCC

Integrated Water Resources Management - NNRB management plan adopted and implemented

Reservoir Managment and River Basin Modeling - Department of Energy of the Ministry of Energy and Mines strengthened

Reservoir Management and River Basin Modeling - Reservoir management plan developed and implemented by Department of Energy

Reservoir Management and River Basin Modeling - NNRB model developed and executed by HPO

Watershed Management - The Integrated Watershed Management Unit (IWMU) in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) strengthened

Watershed Management - 16 subwatershed plans prepared and adopted

Watershed Management - Agricultural extension system strengthened in selected subprojects to improve crop, livestock, and forest productivity and sustainability

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Instead of strengthening WRCCS, the Government reorganized IWRM institutional arrangements at the central and provincial levels by creating WREA. Under Component 1, the Project successfully carried out and supported the creation and organization of WREA.

Progress is underway on the establishment and strengthening of the NNRBC. The decree for the general establishment of river basin committees was approved in 2010. With this decree, river basin committees are initially expected to be formed for Nam Ngum and Nam Theun-Nam Kading river basins, as well as other priority basins.

Activities have been achieved under Component 2. Department of Energy (DoE) (formerly Hydropower Office) expressed its satisfaction on the training and awareness of a core modeling team, and corresponding capacity to operate MORDOR (Hydrological modeling) and PARSIFAL models. DoE plans to mainly use these models to carry out studies of optimization of hydropower production.

Under Component 3, activities being undertaken under the IWMU within the Department of Planning of MAF include the preparation of watershed baseline data profiles, of management and development strategies and plans, and working closely with the village, district and provincial planning process. Capacity-building activities include workshops and on-the-job training. Maps and databases relating to various aspects of the watersheds are held by the IWMU.

Extension activities were conducted in 22 subwatersheds within NNRB (in Xiengkhouang, Luang Prabang and Vientiane provinces and Vientiane Capital). The Project targeted 316 villages (160 in Vientiane and 95 in Xieng Khouang). Extension made steady progress to attain the Project's targets to increase rice yield, livestock performance and to increase income of 10,000 households. Attainment of Project targets were also done through provision of loans (VDF), extension of technical assistance by Khet Extension Service Centers, capacity building and infrastructures and through demonstration areas.

Geographical Location Covers the Nam Ngum River Basin in central Lao PDR, with an area of about 16,906 km2, in north-central LAO.
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects The initial environmental examination (IEE) indicates that the environmental impacts arising from the Project's construction and operation activities will be minor and can be minimized to acceptable levels using mitigation measures. An EMP has been prepared to ensure that all applicable national and provincial environmental laws, regulations, standards, and ADB environmental requirements are met during project implementation. The IEE study reports have been completed for 19 sub watersheds. All IEE reports have been produced, certified by STEA, and submitted to ADB for approval.
Involuntary Resettlement No resettlement was done during implementation of the Project.
Indigenous Peoples Ethnic groups are among the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the country. They suffer from social exclusion due to a variety of factors. The Project was designed to ensure their full participation in all relevant activities. They were mobilized and organized for culturally appropriate extension training, and livelihood development programs. Participatory rural assessments were carried out in association with Lao Front for National Contstruction, Lao Women's Union and non-government organizations. About 15% of the extension staff belonged to the ethnic groups.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design Consultations with key stakeholders were undertaken during project formulation and processing.
During Project Implementation Consultations with key stakeholders were undertaken during project implementation.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

The consulting consortium was mobilized on 20 July 2004. The contract is a single contract divided into two packages, financed by AFD and ADB. The contract originally provided for a total of 158 person months (pm) international and 146 pm national consultants. ADB financed one package of 48 PM of international and 42 PM of domestic consultants. All consultants work followed a consolidated work plan and reported to the single team leader engaged under the ADB package. Amendments have been made to the ADB and AFD funded inputs with a no-cost implication. A total of 171.95 PM of international inputs and 178.76 domestic inputs were provided under the consulting consortium's contract to all Project components.

In addition to the consulting firm, a total of 293.2 pm (101 pm international and 192.2 national) have been provided from ADB funding. The individual consultants were engaged for activities under Component 3 (Watershed Management).

Procurement Procurement of items for Component 1 (IWRM) was funded under the AFD grant, Component 2 (Reservoir Management and River Basin Modeling) was shared between ADB and AFD, and Component 3 was funded under the ADB loan. The procurement of goods were done in several lots during the implementation period and in accordance with ADB procurement guidelines. The Project included all procurement projections in the Annual Workplan and Budget which was approved by ADB annually.
Responsible ADB Officer Christopher Wensley
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry-Irrigation Dep
Mr. Sisovath Phandanouvong
2nd Floor Wooden House, Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry, Patouxay Square, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Concept Clearance 14 Nov 2000
Fact Finding 22 May 2002 to 04 Jun 2002
MRM 18 Jul 2002
Approval 11 Nov 2002
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 23 Jan 2007
Last PDS Update 23 Feb 2011

Loan 1933-LAO

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
11 Nov 2002 07 Feb 2003 11 Feb 2004 31 Mar 2009 30 Sep 2011 11 May 2011
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 23.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 15.00 11 Nov 2002 16.93 0.00 97%
Counterpart 4.20 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 3.80 11 Nov 2002 17.39 0.00 100%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory - Satisfactory
Title Document Type Document Date
Nam Ngum River Basin Development Sector Project Reports and Recommendations of the President Oct 2002

Safeguard Documents

See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.

Evaluation Documents

See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

None currently available.

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