Mr Thammanivong & Ms Nang Hak.
Houayhok is a Khmu village settled in his current place since 1976, after the former one was destroyed by a fire. Houayhok is accessible by off road, 30 minutes’ drive far from Namor district center. Most of the 59 households have rice fields in the lowlands and cultivate rice and maize in the uplands, according to their needs of food and their available workload. Community forests provide resources such as wood for construction and non-timber forest products.
Through the Poverty Reduction Project in Oudomxay (2013), CCL has implemented a set of activities such as home gardening, awareness on nutrition issues, pesticides, but also food processing and food marketing support (maize, cardamom), including water sanitation and irrigation infrastructures. According to Mr Kham Phak, former Head of the village, the project mostly benefited to the community and improved the livelihoods of its people thanks to the construction of new irrigation infrastructures, the distribution of cardamom seedlings, the construction of latrines and water supply system.
Thammanivong, 53 years old.
former Head of the village.
He has 6 children and 3 grandchildren. 9 persons live in his household : his wife, 2 of his children and the family of his son.
Livelihoods : rice fields (1,5 ha), pigs, poultry, cows, buffalo.
"Before the construction of the new drinking water supply system, we were using an old system built in 2003. The irrigation systems are traditionally made of wood and stones without cement or gabions and mud canal to drive water.
They need heavy maintenance during the rainy season and water losses are high. Despite the villagers' efforts to maintain it, the water supply system was damaged by the floods in several sections crossing the rivers. Water was cut several days and villagers had to collect water 10 min far from the village. Moreover, the water flow was low and the village finally asked support to the District.
Thanks to the Poverty Reduction Project, a new system has been built in 2013, with another catchment. Since then, all the villagers have a secure and sufficient access to clean water in the different water fountains. Simultaneously, the project provided latrines for all households. Previously, there was no latrines and villagers had to go into the forest. The main problem for us was the constraint of distance to open areas. Since the construction of latrines, we also observe a positive impact on diseases related to sanitation but the first advantage for us is the change in our everyday life. Indeed, it's very convenient to have toilets.
Also, thanks to the construction of the new irrigation infrastructures, we could have a regular and more consistent water flow : the yields increased by nearly two (x 2) and we could increase the areas irrigated. I have two main plots out of which one is impacted by the new construction. I could level 0.18 additional ha. My total production of paddy was 150 bags (4.5 tons) before the project and it increased to 220 bags (6.6 tons). Previously, I did have enough rice for my family and I could sell 1. Now I can sell nearly 3 tons. The surplus of rice enable me to raise animals and these incomes can cover the school and life expenses of his daughter who study in high school in District Center. Before, some of the families needed to go in other villages to buy rice. Since the construction, nobody in the village need to buy rice out of the village because all the rice produced cover the needs of the whole village.”
Miss Nang Hak, 23 years old.
She lives with her husband and her 3 children.
Livelihoods: rice fields (0.7 ha), upland rice (1 ha), upland maize (2 ha).
“For me, the main impact is the construction of the irrigation infrastructure. Before the project, we had to cultivate uplands for rice in order to meet our needs in staple food. Since then, the production of rice from the paddies is enough and we don’t need to cultivate upland rice. Moreover, because I have to take care of the baby, we have not enough workload to cultivate uplands."
"This year, we also had to decrease the area of maize, we sowed almost 20 kg (1.5 ha), which was double in 2014. Thanks to the project and the marketing group, we could borrow seeds from the groups three years. Otherwise, we would need to get seeds from middlemen who requests higher interest and the condition is to sell him the production with his price."