Viet Nam News
CÀ MAU — Huỳnh Quốc Toản, a resident from Phú Tân Commune in Cà Mau Province’s Phú Tân District, said he no longer worried about his house being ruined by natural disasters.
Toàn was among 23 households that received State support to build new houses in the region before Tết (Lunar New Year).
“Since relocating in December last year, my family now feels secure,” he said cheerfully.
Huỳnh Văn Tôi, another resident, said like other locals whose lives are based around the sea, he often dreamed of having a house that was resilient against strong storms.
“We have never been afraid of dangers posed by the sea, but always worry that our houses would collapse after being hit with strong waves and wind,” Tôi told Nhân Dân (People) newspaper, adding that he could stay offshore for months after his new house was completed.
Nguyễn Văn Nỡ, deputy head of Phú Tân Commune’s Mỹ Bình Village, said 130 households in his village have been relocated to safer areas. Of these, 93 households were engaged in seafood exploitation and one had houses near sea dykes or the western coastal protective forest, he said.
Being one of the localities most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, the southernmost province of Cà Mau has taken measures to minimise the damage.
According to a climate change scenario, if the sea level rises by 25cm, about 85.4 per cent (or 4,700sq.m) of the total natural area of Cà Mau Province will be inundated, and about 200,000 households will be displaced by 2040.
As local residents live on seafood exploitation, any rise in sea levels will affect their property, particularly over 13,000 households who live in coastal areas and areas vulnerable to climate change.
To meet the demand for urgent evacuation of households in high risk areas, Cà Mau Provincial People’s Committee has approved the master plan on population arrangement in the province.
Accordingly, 8,731 households would be subject to evacuation in the 2006–15 period.
However, insufficient funding and land shortages have caused delays in the implementation of the project, said Phạm Thanh Hải, an official from Cà Mau Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
More than 1,000 households have been relocated so far, he said.
The province needs about VNĐ1.4 trillion (US$61.7 million) to evacuate 4,800 households who live in high risk areas in 2016-2020, with a view to 2025, Hải said.
The province has set a target of reducing the number of poor households from 2 per cent to 1.5 per cent per year and increase access to clean water and electricity to 80 per cent and 95 per cent, respectively.
To promote the project’s effectiveness, the provincial agencies have strengthened dissemination to improve people’s awareness on environmental protection.
In addition to evacuation, the local authority is also committed to upgrading the sea dyke system, restoring protective forests, as well as setting up projects to create sustainable livelihoods for local residents with an aim to mitigate the impact of climate change. — VNS