To mark the World Habitat Day 2011, representatives from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and UN-HABITAT got together at an event held in the UN House in Vientiane on Monday 3rd of October. The purpose of the event was to reflect on this year's theme 'Cities and Climate Change' and what this means in the Laos context.
Following the opening speeches by the event co-chairs, a video message from UN-HABITAT Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos was screened.
Afterwards the launch of a new rainwater harvesting project, worth US$60,000, took place. Cooperation Agreements on the projects were exchanged between Mr. Buahom Sengkhamyong, Chief Technical Advisor UN-HABITAT Lao PDR, and Directors of Water Utilities from Savannakhet and Khammouane provinces. The project will see the installation of complete rainwater harvesting systems for five schools in Khammouane and Savannakhet provinces. The launch included a presentation and a discussion of rainwater harvesting as an adaptation method for climate change.
Additionally, UN-HABITAT supported the display of five 'World Habitat Day' banners around Vientiane. Further awareness raising was done through the local media that printed the messages of the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as well as UN-HABITAT's Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos in several newspapers.