Overall, the sanitation supply chain in the provincial capitals (the one included in the research and the one visited for the orientation session) is extensive — many importers, wholesalers/retailers, concrete producers and masons.14 This is to be expected, given the size and average incomes of these towns. However, outside of district centers the supply chain is quite limited with a small availability of materials suppliers, mainly along the main road connecting with the provincial capitals.
Sometimes, especially in remote districts, masons and concrete producers do not work in these roles full time but work only on spot, on a request basis. In some places they are not available at all. As discussed above, there are no concrete producers in Xaychamphone and only one in each of Meung, Dakcheung, Kaleum, Phouvong and Samoi. Mason availability is discussed below (Section 7.3.1).
Figure 10: Supply Chain Map (conceptual)
The origin of the construction materials depends on which is the closest neighboring country and on the availability of international check points, enabling trade between the two countries.
In most of the research provinces, Thailand plays a pivotal role as supplier of all kinds of materials. China plays an important part in Luangnamtha, given its proximity to the province and the increasing amount of Chinese businesses there. Vietnam supplies the Central Region as well as the Southern Region.
Table 19: Construction materials – Country of origin
As mentioned above, some products are sourced locally, such as cement, sand and gravel. There is not local manufacture of pans. In general, suppliers report than consumers prefer products from Thailand over local or Chinese products.