|More than 50,000 families in the province have already been relocated into flood-proof residential clusters over the last 13 years.— Photo baoxaydung
HCM CITY (VNS) — Dong Thap Province still has 13,000 families living in flood-prone areas that need to be relocated as part of a state-run programme that has been carried out since 2001, according to the province's Department of Construction.
More than 50,000 families in the province have already been relocated into flood-proof residential clusters over the last 13 years.
With their new houses, residents have been protected during the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta's flood season, which usually lasts about four months.
This year, the flood season began in July, one month earlier than normal.
Dang Van Tuan, who lives in a flood-proof residential area in Tan Hong District, said in the past he had to stay up many nights to check rising water levels to move his family out in time.
Tuan and his family, who once lived in a makeshift house in Tan Hong's Binh Phu Commune, moved to the cluster in 2012.
"Now it is fine. My house is solid and the roads are good. I can now focus on work to provide for my family," he said.
Tuan said he had finished harvesting his rice and was now catching fish and shrimp brought by rising water levels in his rice fields.
Located upstream and in a low-lying area in the Mekong Delta, Dong Thap has the largest number of flood-proof residential clusters of any site in the country.
The state-run programme completed its first phase in 2007 and is now in its second phase.
Dinh Xuan Hoang, deputy director of the province's Department of Construction, said the province had built 53 flood-proof residential clusters in the second phase.
Fifty of those have been completed and the remaining three are expected to be completed this month.
The province has approved new flood-proof housing for 12,444 families, or 87 per cent of families targeted under the second phase. Of those families, more than 7,800 families have already moved to the residential clusters.
In the provinces' Thap Muoi District, local authorities have relocated more than 96 per cent of families into flood-proof residential clusters.
Dinh Minh Dung, deputy chairman of the Thap Muoi People's Committee, said the district had built flood-proof residential clusters in areas near markets and urban areas with suitable locations.
Le Minh Hoan, secretary of the province's Party Committee, said the housing situation had been solved but jobs must be created in the areas where residents have relocated.
Over the past years, Dong Thap's districts have begun several programmes to create jobs in and near flood-proof residential clusters. These included agricultural cooperatives and classes in handicraft-making.
Families in flood-proof residential clusters have also been provided soft loans to do business. — VNS