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Heritage City Market Closes Due to Flooding

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Authorities in Luang Prabang province have improved the drainage system along various major roads in the city after flooding was recorded in several areas including the Luang Prabang Night Market.

The authorities have focused on solving this problem so as not to impact on tourism or disrupt the earnings of local vendors.

Local officials and residents jointly cleaned the drainage system in around the Luang Prabang Night Market, as soil and sand had filled up the drain pipes causing flooding on various roads.

According to the provincial Public Works and Transport Department, the programme will help solve the drainage system problems in the short term but there are no long term plans for an upgrade because the department does not have the budget.

The department has also asked local communities not to fill drains with soil from home construction, keep sand and stone piles near roadsides, or install non-standard drainage systems in the province.

This year’s flooding is not the first time such things have been witnessed in Luang Prabang’s urban centre, which experiences some degree of flooding every year during the wet season.

On August 15, heavy rains over many hours in the early evening and into the night caused flooding in many urban areas of Luang Prabang district including the Luang Prabang Night Market in Pongkham village and main routes in the villages of Nasangveuy, Naluang and Nasamphan.

Provincial officials reported that the worst affected was the Luang Prabang Night Market, because local vendors could not sell their products due to the heavy rains.

Water up to 20 centimetres deep flooded the main market street over a distance of one kilometre but those waters have now dried after the drainage system was cleared.

Meanwhile, some local residents in Naluang and Nasamphan villages of Luang Prabang district who live near the roadsides were impacted by flooding on the routes. Some houses and stores were flooded due to substandard drainage.

Local residents said the concerned officials have surveyed the drainage systems where the flooding occurred but no action has been taken to address the issues.

Source: Vientiane Times