World Water Day lasts a week in Laos. This year the Lao Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment organized events including art competitions, writing songs, a golf tournament and a Science Seminar. The Challenge Program on Water and Food helped sponsor the Science Seminar through an Opportunity Fund grant.
The Science Seminar was hosted by the newly formed Water Resources Engineering Department at the National University of Laos, Tad Thong Campus. Formerly the Department of Irrigation, the university felt a broader curriculum was needed to meet today’s needs. The first batch of 20 students will graduate in August 2013.
The seminar was well attended in terms of numbers and representation. Approximately 200 people attended, most faculty and students from the National University and a large portion of them from the Water Resources Engineering Department. IWMI’s Paul Pavelic was on the panel along with Torkil Jønch Clausen representing ADB. Also in the audience were representatives from the French International Office for Water, WWF and Theun-Hinboun Power Company. The presentations were in Lao language and MONRE offered staff to help with translation for non-Lao speaking visitors. The media were also well represented (National Lao TV, Pathet Lao, Vientiane Times and Psason newspapers and National Radio of Lao).
There was an exhibition area with booths presenting, IWMI and the Challenge Program on Water and Food, the Mekong River Commission, National University of Laos, MONRE and Theun Hinboun Power Company.
Many thanks to Dr Lilao Bouapao and Ms Malichanh Srithirath for being the face of CPWF at this event. Now for the follow up.