Storm-proof housing increases the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to climate change in Viet Nam

13 February 2018, Quang Ngai, Viet Nam – The Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority (VNDMA), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have handed over storm-resilient houses to households in the province of Quang Ngai. Thirty-seven houses have been built so far, with more than 300 houses to be built in 2018.
 
"This is a great effort of UNDP and VNDMA to support vulnerable coastal communities to strengthen their resilience to the natural disasters and climate change. The project’s activities right before the New Year of Mau Tuat 2018 contribute to helping people have a happy new year and ensure their safety,” said Ms Doan Thi Tuyet Nga, Director of the Department of International Cooperation, VNDMA.
 
Extreme weather events in Viet Nam have become both more frequent and unpredictable in recent years. In 2017 alone, Viet Nam suffered more than 16 typhoons, five of which directly hit the coastal provinces. The most severe storms Doksuri and Damrey (known locally as Number 10 and Number 12) caused severe flooding, dangerous flash floods, and landslides with more than 386 people losing their lives or reported missing. Hundreds of thousands of houses were destroyed and dozens of villages were left isolated by floods.
 
Storm resilient-housing is one of the most effective measures to saves lives and mitigate the loss of property in coastal provinces. To address the issue, the Prime Minister promulgated Decree 48 promoting policies to support poor households in the central region to build houses which can withstand floods and storms. With the successful implementation of this decree, under the project ‘Improving the Resilience of Vulnerable Coastal Communities to Climate Change Related Impacts in Viet Nam’, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Construction (MoC) are supporting the construction of 4,000 safe houses in five coastal provinces of Quang Ngai, Quang Nam, Quang Binh, Thua Thien Hue and Thanh Hoa over the next 4 years.
 
The housing support will benefit both "near poor" and "poor" households according to government criteria, with priority given to ethnic minority households and disadvantaged families, the elderly, families of people with disabilities, households in extremely difficult areas and in the poorest districts of the Government's poverty reduction program, and other vulnerable people.
 
Attending the inauguration event were families with representatives of Quang Ngai Province People's Committee, Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, UNDP, representatives from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Construction, Commune People's Committee, and Viet Nam’s Women’s Union.
 
“As a house is the single largest asset owned by individuals and families, building resilient homes is central to the adaptive capacity of most households in the coastal zones of Viet Nam,” said Ms Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Viet Nam Country Director. She also stressed that “UNDP has been providing support to build and rebuild houses for vulnerable families, with a special focus on the poor, women-headed households, and the elderly. We have also been working in partnership with the Red Cross and Women’s Union to rebuild and repair more than 5,300 houses that were affected by Typhoon Damrey.”
 
This is the first project in Viet Nam to have support from the Green Climate Fund. Its objective is to increase the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to the impacts of climate change through safe housing for coastal communities vulnerable to floods and storms; dramatically increasing the coverage of mangroves, providing a natural buffer between the sea and coastal communities; and providing reliable climate risk information to help guide participatory disaster risk management planning and climate change response. The project will be implemented over five years (2017-2022) with funding of US $ 29.5 million.

For Further Details:

Ms Phan Huong Giang,
Media and Communications Analyst 
United Nations Development Programme 
Email: phan.huong.giang@undp.org; Mob: 0948466688
 
Mr Vu Thai Truong
Programme Management 
United Nations Development Programme
Last Updated: 22 Feb 2018