Feb 06, 2021 / 16:57

UNDP extends disaster-resilient house program for people in coastal Vietnam

UNDP believes that the support will help residents rebuilt their lives and livelihoods.

A crowdfunding campaign entitled “Safe Houses Save Lives” to build houses for residents in Vietnam’s central coastal areas was launched on February 5, contributing to recovery plans in the flood-hit region.

 Representative of Korean non-governmental organization World Share and Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam at the campaign. Photo: UNDP Vietnam

In the partnership among the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Dan Tri newspaper, and the Vietnam Fund for Promoting Education, the campaign aims to build 100 new storm- and flood-resilient houses for poor and near-poor families in Quang Binh.

The two-year campaign, which receives financial support by the Korean non-governmental organization World Share and VND1 billion (US$43,000) from Dan Tri, is part of a broader UNDP effort to support government response and recovery work in central Vietnam.

It is estimated that 100,000 resilient houses are needed to meet the demand of vulnerable households in typhoon-prone coastal areas.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, stressed the importance of ensuring no most vulnerable left behind in the recovery plans in the flood-hit region, saying that “We believe that the more resilient houses are built, the less people will suffer from loss and damages when storms and floods strike, and the more quickly they will be able to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.”

Critically, with safe homes and protected property, less people will need emergency support in the future. “With joined up action, we believe the goal can be achieved. We invite all partners to join with us to build more storm-resilient houses to ensure that no one is left behind,” said Ms. Wiesen.

  UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin WiesenPhoto: UNDP Vietnam

So far, more than 3,400 low cost ‘resilient houses’ have already been built by a joint Green Climate Fund (GCF)-UNDP-Government of Vietnam project since 2018 including more than 700 in Quang Binh.

The resilient houses have been specifically engineered to include special features such as flood-proof floor that is 1.5m above the highest flood level to provide a safe refuge from rising floodwaters and strongly reinforced roofs that can withstand typhoon-strength winds.

They proved their effectiveness during the severe floods and storms of 2020, when they saved the lives and livelihoods of not only their owners, but in some cases other members of the community as well. Their success garnered attention from the media, and they have since been specifically highlighted by the government as a model for wider replication.

In another move, UNDP and Quang Nam authorities on February 4 handed over the first houses in a program to repair more than 3,300 houses and 20 new ones in Quang Ngai and Quang Nam. Handing over the houses ahead of Tet holiday is meaningful for beneficiaries.

“Thanks to successes of the project “Improving resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to climate change-related impacts in Vietnam” under the support by the Green Climate Fund, Government of Vietnam and UNDP, roughly 3,500 storm- and flood-resilient houses built since 2017 in coastal provinces including Quang Nam have effectively protected lives and property. We are delighted to hand over new homes in the province before the Lunar New Year,” said Mr. Dao Xuan Lai, Head of Environment and Climate Change Department, UNDP Vietnam.