SEACAP 21-04. Mainstreaming stabilisation trials to strengthen slope management practices in Lao PDR.
Landslides pose a hazard to many parts of the Laos road network. These landslides are brought about by steep slopes, seasonally heavy rainfall and tectonically disturbed and weathered underlying rocks. Road construction has tended to aggravate this instability through the creation of cut slopes and spoil dumps. A study carried out between 2006 and 2009 established 13 low cost slope stabilisation trial sites using bio-engineering and geotechnical measures, and has been able to demonstrate that positive outcomes can be achieved using low cost methods. Paramount to achieving these results, however, is the definition of the extent and depth of ground movement and the interpretation of site geology. Close control on the practices of the contractor is also paramount, particularly with regard to quality control and adherence to specification. A slope maintenance handbook and manual were prepared following the outcome of the trials, and these have been distributed widely amongst Lao road sector practitioners. They have been used as the basis for mainstreaming project outputs through training of trainers at the National University of Laos. A practitioner training programme was devised and implemented, combining fieldwork and classroom training, to enhance roadside slope management amongst road maintenance engineers from central and provincial level in Laos. The basis has, therefore, been established for future training and strengthening in the slope management sector.