Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NGÃI – People in a small village in central Quảng Ngãi Province are very familiar with dealing with floods that sweep through their houses from the Vệ River.
Located near the river, the village floods at least three times per year. Each time, much of the property of the residents, including basic furniture, is lost.
However, the Government’s programme to help impoverished households build flood-resistant houses has changed the lives of the villagers.
Nguyễn Văn Cúc, a resident of Hành Thiện Commune’s Phú Lâm Tây Village, is one of the people receiving financial support to build a flood-proof house.
Standing in front of the house, Cúc said it has helped his family live through floods.
“All of us, from children to the elderly, had to be ready at any time,” he said. “When we are warned about an upcoming flood, we had to rush to bring animals and property to high positions to avoid losses.”
Cúc said he was afraid of not being ready for floods.
The flood-resistant house has helped his family save their possessions and keep basic furniture to survive until the water recedes.
One villager, Nguyễn Thị Minh Nhung, said she put rice and some furniture on the top of the house to prepare for the floods.
“We used to be frightened as the water was too fast to move our property,” she said. “Things are much better now.”
The pilot programme was approved by the Government in 2012. It will help as many as 700 poor households in 14 flood-prone communes in seven provinces, including Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi and Phú Yên.
Each house, with a minimum floor area of 10 square metres, costs at least VNĐ30 million (US$1,290).
VNĐ10 million ($430) in funding for the house comes from the State budget, a further VNĐ10 million comes in the form of a favourable loan from the Bank of Social Policy, and the rest is provided by the household.
Hồ Kim Việt, local official working to implement the programme, told Việt Nam News Agency that previously, many households lived in poverty after a flood.
The historic flood in November, 2013 was an example. Four people were injured and 1,690 houses were submerged, causing losses of nearly VNĐ 25 billion ($1.07 million).
Since the province was chosen to implement the programme as a trial, as many as 450 flood-resistant houses have been built.
Việt said local residents hoped the programme would expand to all households near the poverty line and those who just got out of poverty to help them avoid a relapse.
“A flood can turn a normal family into an impoverished one,” he said. “I hope all the households are supported to build their own flood-proof houses.”
Trần Duy Cường, director of the provincial Bank of Social Policies, said the bank has asked the provincial People’s Committee to combine financial support from non-governmental organisations with the programme’s fund to help more people build the houses in the near future. – VNS