Flood-plagued Laos to build wall along Mekong River

Other News Materials 21 August 2008 11:03 (UTC +04:00)

Laos plans to build a 12-kilometre wall along the Mekong River to prevent future flooding in the capital, Vientiane, which has been hard hit this month by the worst inundation in 100 years, Lao media reports said Thursday.

Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad, who is also president of the anti-flood committee of Vientiane, said the government would seek loans from abroad to finance the dike construction, which would hopefully begin in the next dry season, Radio Laos said in a broadcast monitored in Bangkok, dpa reported.

Vientiane has been inundated by floodwaters for the past week after the Mekong River reached record heights and overflowed its banks.

State media in communist Laos have thus far refrained from reporting the extent of the flood damage in Vientiane and other areas.

This month's floods, however, have been described as the worst in 100 years by the four-nation Mekong River Commission's Regional Flood Management and Mitigation Centre.

The Mekong defines the border between Thailand and Laos. The river, the longest in South-East Asia, starts at the foothills of the Himalayas in China and flows through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, where it empties into the South China Sea.