New Topic, New Team, New Province - Bus Tour on Waste Management in Bolikhamxai

On 20-31 July, 2015 ProCEEd's environmental truck and bus toured 20 villages in the Thapabath, Paksan and Pakkading districts of Bolikhamsai Province, which so far had not been reached by the project's Environmental Tour. This tour also communicated a new topic, namely solid waste management, and was implemented by a team newly composed from volunteers of the Mobile Conservation Unit (MCU) at Lao National University's Faculty of Forestry and DEQP.

Neither bad weather during the rainy season nor difficult road conditions could stop the team from promoting environmental awareness. Protected from the rain, almost 2,500 students from 40 primary and secondary schools learned about the importance of reducing domestic waste and how to dispose it correctly while gaining extra value from waste through recycling.

The school program involved a series of educational games, hands-on activities, and implementation of mini-projects. All activities were designed to promote active participation of the students through learning-by-doing, entertainment and fun. The children engaged in competition games, songs, and clean-up action as part of the program's activities at each school visited. The students learned how to transform old plastic PET bottle into a cleaning broom, how to segregate waste properly and how important it is for each one of them to reduce the quantity of waste generated at school or at home. After a clean-up action at the school area, primary and secondary students realized how much plastic material they found in the school area and discussed the problems this waste can generate.

During evening events, ProCEEd's waste management tour shared the same topics with the adults of the targeted villages. The MCU team demonstrated how to compost organic waste and how to produce organic fertilizer. The demonstrations were a success and the adult villagers shared their knowledge and the challenges encountered when dealing properly with waste management at the village level.

The highlight of every evening program was a 25-minute theatre play performed by the MCU student volunteers for the entire village. The drama showed two families with opposite attitudes and behaviour regarding the generation and use of domestic waste. A careless family consumed a lot of plastic articles and threw waste material all around their house. The other family was an example of best practices as they reduced their waste and reused or recycled valuable materials retrieved from waste. This family even made some money with the material recycled after all.

One of the objectives of ProCEEd is to train and develop the capacities of young people in terms of environmental education. During this campaign more than 15 students from the Forestry University had the opportunity to learn modern and effective environmental education methods and tools. They experienced edutainment methods while implementing school and evening program activities such as playing the theatre play. Working as volunteers for two weeks during the waste management tour also allowed the students to get to know how villagers live and what their daily challenges are. Even though the tour program takes from early morning to late evening every day, the young volunteers were full of energy and strong commitment. ProCEEd offers a real-life experience regarding environmental education that the students may not forgot in their future professional careers.

Before they go on tour, students are trained for at least ten days by MCU. Guided by experienced staff, they learn how to develop educational tools and how to organize and coordinate activities. The students develop and rehearse the theatre play, learn how to speak in public and how to monitor their target audience.

During the tour, the team faced both smaller and bigger challenges. This was due to the activities not going as planned as they were implemented in the rainy season, which caused trouble for travel and gathering of school children and villagers. Also, the activities were implemented during the school holidays, and some villages couldn’t participate because they were cut off by flooding which resulted in the team not implementing the activities as expected. Anyway, the friendships built during MCU's volunteer time on the ProCCEd Environmental Tour should grow deep roots of commitment for the conservation and protection of the environment in Laos.

 

NEWS

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ENVIRONMENTAL FILMS



You can now watch 12 professionally produced documentary films broadcast on LNTV in 2017. Three or four episodes of 15 minutes each make up for a mini-series that focuses on a specific topic, e.g. wildlife or forest protection. More films supported by ProCEEd and other GIZ projects are shown as well.

ENVIRONMENTAL RADIO



You can listen in to selected radio programs produced by LNR Khammouane in Thakek and Boualapha as well as by LNR Huaphan in Sam Neua and Houameuang. Some of them have even been translated into Khmu and Hmong language. Three 15-min episodes make up for a mini-series that focuses on a specific topic.

ENVIRONMENTAL TOURS



At the provincial and district level, Environmental Tours with entertaining environmental education activities regularly tour four provinces and Vientiane Capital. A bus and a truck using solar-powered equipment facilitate film, theatre and local learning and discussion initiatives. Don’t miss the tour!