Wednesday , July 24 2024

Natural disaster-resistant houses ensure local livelihoods

A flood-resistant house in Quảng Điền District, central Thừa Thiên-Huế Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Mai Trang

CENTRAL REGION — In this year’s rainy season, Ngô Thị Tin and her family, living in Hương Khê District, central Hà Tĩnh Province, no longer have to worry about evacuating themselves and their property as they are living in a flood-resistant house.

Half of the budget worth VNĐ80 million to build the house was sourced from the flood-proof house project of Sống Foundation. The other half was self-funded by her family.

She said in the previous years, every time when the water rose, her family had to stay up all night and be ready to evacuate.

In the recent flooding which inundated many houses to their roofs, her family felt safe living in a flood-resistant house.

Building safe houses designed to withstand natural disasters in areas frequently affected by storms and floods is a practical solution in many localities to help residents cope with natural disasters and stabilise their lives.

Three years after the landslides in Trà Leng, Nam Trà My District, central Quảng Nam Province, the local community has stabilised their lives thanks to resettlement areas.

From 2020 to 2023, thanks to funds mobilised from various sources, local authorities have invested nearly VNĐ650 billion in building 45 resettlement areas for 7,000 households. Among those, more than 2,000 used to live in landslide-prone areas.

The resettled households have been supported with housing and food in the first months after moving. Most of the remaining funds have been invested in building essential infrastructure such as electricity, clean water facilities, intra-regional roads, schools, and supporting people in creating productive land.

Hồ Thị Lăng, a local resident, said the local community’s life in the new place has become better than in the old one thanks to more facilitated traffic. The resettlement areas are located in a flat place so residents no longer have to worry about landslide risks.

Her family and other neighbours on Bằng La Hamlet’s resettlement area have also received essential items, food and seedlings for farming.

Safe society against natural disasters

Local authorities of central Quảng Nam Province have offered lots of incentives to support people with downgraded houses or living in low-lying areas prone to landslides and flooding.

Ethnic minority households and people living in disadvantaged circumstances such as the disabled, elderly and households having women as breadwinners, will have priority in accessing the support.

Nguyễn Thị Lan Hương, from the Department of Housing and Real Estate Market Management under the Ministry of Construction, said it is necessary to continue to research and develop support policies relevant to Việt Nam’s current economic conditions in order to help people, especially poor households and policy beneficiary households, to have a safe and stable life, minimise damage caused by natural disasters, and ensure social security.

Nguyễn Hoàng Hiệp, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development cum deputy head of the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, said rebuilding houses after natural disasters is necessary.

In the spirit of rebuilding safer, more convenient, and cheaper houses, it is necessary to make amendments to policies so that the State can best support people in renovating and building houses that are safe from natural disasters, and in the long term, it is vital to develop regulations and standards for houses in storm and flood-prone areas, he said.

More than 20,000 households in Việt Nam have received housing support.

According to surveys, more than 30,000 poor households in 28 coastal provinces and cities are still in need of housing support to prevent natural disasters.

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính assigned the Ministry of Construction to coordinate with relevant agencies and local authorities to develop support policies in the 2021-25 period.

Việt Nam has affirmed that it always considers natural disaster prevention and control to be the top, regular and continuous task of the entire political system to protect the lives, health, livelihoods and property of the people, especially all ethnic groups.

The task of preventing and fighting natural disasters requires great responsibility and efforts from the entire political system from central to grassroots level, the armed forces and every citizen. — VNS

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