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Low-cost flood shelters prove effective: official

Update: March, 07/2013 - 00:10

NGHE AN — Flood shelters constructed for residents in central provinces have proven effective, so there is no need to relocate poor people living in flood-prone areas, deputy minister of construction Nguyen Tran Nam said.

Under a project initiated by the Prime Minister last year, such shelters would be built for 700 poor households in 14 communes in Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Phu Yen.

Construction of each shelter costs an estimated VND30 million (US$1,400), including VND10 million from the State budget and VND10 million from bank loans with an interest rate of 3 per cent per year. The rest of the sum comes from local residents.

Nam said that while the capital was small, it would serve as bait to attract more resources and get local people to participate in building shelters.

Many households got loans to build bigger and more beautiful shelters, he said.

In a two-day field trip to central Ha Tinh and Nghe An provinces, a Ministry of Construction delegation found that the shelter project had made impressive progress.

Ha Tinh was the first province to complete the programme as scheduled, with completed flood shelters for 100 households in three flood-prone communes.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Le Dinh Son said the project was vital for local people, so the province determined to complete it before last year's flood season.

Dang Thi Nga, a resident of Ha Tinh province's Son Thinh commune, said she now felt secure again and could go about her daily life.

"Thanks to the support from other people, many people like us can now build our own houses," she said.

Nam said it was important that local people carry out the project themselves with guidelines and support from the State. This model could be replicated in future poverty reduction programmes if successful.

Around 60,000 poor households and 30,000 near-poor households are living in flood-prone areas in 14 central coastal provinces from Thanh Hoa to Binh Thuan, according to a ministry survey.—VNS

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