Laos Floods Relief – Ops Update

SINGAPORE FIRMS DEPLOY JOINT HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE TEAM TO LAOS Aquayana and HSL Constructor donate and deliver portable water treatment systems to worst-hit Sanamxay district

Singaporean firms Aquayana and HSL Constructor completed their donation, delivery, deployment and handover of five units of the Singapore-made Suitcase Saver portable water treatment systems yesterday at worst-hit Sanamxay district of Attapeu province.  The aid cargo was flown into Laos complimentary of Singapore's regional airline company, SilkAir.  The 3-man joint deployment also conducted training on the set up, function and maintenance of the water systems to the ground officials and technical staff from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NDMO) and Lao Red Cross at one of the five evacuation centres in Attapeu.  More than 6,000 locals are still staying across the five centres, with wet and stormy weather still persisting then.

Aquayana had joined hands with HSL Constructor, the company which recently completed the construction of Singapore's third desalination plant, to donate portable water treatment systems for safe drinking water. Both companies have strong humanitarian backgrounds with experience in providing humanitarian aid to countries across Asia for more than a decade.

Senior Director Operations of HSL, Chris Lim, shared, "The team were in constant communications with the AHA Centre and the Lao Department of International Organisation of the Foreign Ministry throughout, to facilitate the swift and smooth ground operations, and ensuring that aid from Singapore supports and matches the ground needs appropriately. We are grateful to all our local and regional partners for the effective collaboration which allowed quick access and assistance to the floods-affected victims."

The trail and scale of devastation left by the original Tropical Storm #11 and the broken Saddle dam D of the Xe-Pian Xe Namnoy hydropower project, coupled with the daily rains, posed a real challenge to relief operations - reducing efficiency due to limited access, wet and muddy ground conditions and treacherous terrains to and around Attapeu.  While navigating the challenging route to Sanamxay, the Singapore private sector team passed by a bridge where another relief vehicle skidded down a slope and crashed into a ravine, killing the driver.

Aquayana is a Singaporean water solutioning firm which conceptualises and co-develops appropriate water solutions to address life and livelihood issues at disaster-stricken, rural and coastal communities.  The SS400 is the latest system from Aquayana’s SG Water AIDER series of innovations. It weighs 38 kilogrammes, churns over 400 litres of water hourly, operates on a 12V DC car battery, and is able to filter and treat sub-micro-size particles including bacteria and viruses.  AIDER, is the acronym for Applied Innovations for Development and Emergency Relief.

The team returned to Singapore on Monday evening, 30 July.