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Main type of house roof

   
 

The term ‘type of roof’ refers to the main type of material used for roofing.  The relevant information was obtained by asking households to state which of the following materials they had used for roofing their houses: tiles, corrugated zinc, wood, split bamboo, thatch or other materials. In general more than 54.0% of households used corrugated zinc, 21.7% used thatch, 13.2% used tiles, and only 6% used either wood, bamboo, or other materials.
The map shows the spatial distribution of households in relation to the type of roofing material used i.e. tiles/CPAC, zinc, wood, bamboo, thatch or other materials. Three colours dominate the map: green for thatch, grey for corrugated zinc sheets, and yellow for bamboo.

The green colour indicates the spatial distribution of wooden roofing to prevail from Huaphanh, through Xiengkhuang and south along the eastern half of Borikhamxay to the provinces of Sekong, Attapeu and Champasack. The colour grey indicates the predominance of houses with zinc roofs, which can be seen starting from the southwest of the province of Xayaboury and onto the south of Vientiane Province and then along the Mekong in the western parts of the provinces of Borikhamxay, Khammuane, Savannakhet, Saravane, Champasack, Sekong and Attapeu. This stretch of land has easy access to a supply of reasonably priced materials from Thailand.

In the north of both provinces of Luang Prabang and Huaphanh corrugated zinc sheets are in part imported from Yunnan, China. The patches of yellow in the south of the province of Xayabury, the northwest of Vientiane Province, in the provinces of Bokeo and Luang Namtha, and in parts of both Oudomxay and Luang Prabang provinces show the use of bamboo as a roofing material. The gentle slopes of the mountains have made it easy to clear-cut the forests. So now there are large areas which are covered with bamboo. There is very little bamboo used in the south, perhaps because of the ease of supply of wood from the forests in the Annamite mountains.

In general many houses in the Lao PDR have zinc or thatched roofs. This is because these material are readily available to and affordable by the population throughout the country. The choice of durable roofing material indicates the intention using the house as a long-term, permanent residence. The choice of materials used is limited only by the relative wealth or poverty of the individual household. It may also show that the movement of goods between the provinces, between the districts, and between countries, or that market access is not so equitable throughout the country.

 

 


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