Hope for a community devastated by landslides

February 07, 2021 - 17:44

Last October, a serious landslide hit the area, burying their houses and killing a dozen of their family members and neighbours.


New houses have been built for people Trà Leng Commune in Nam Trà My District, the central province of Quảng Nam after serious landslides last year. —VNA/VNS Photo Trần Tĩnh

QUẢNG NAM — Spring is coming and bringing hope for better days ahead, especially for the Mơ Nông ethnic minority people of Trà Leng Commune in Nam Trà My District, the central province of Quảng Nam.

Last October, during a time when the central region was suffering from successive storms and historic floodings, a severe landslide hit the remote mountainous area of Trà Leng , burying their houses and killing a dozen of their family members and neighbours.

At that time, roads to the commune were blocked with rocks, stones and thick layers of mud. Bridges and dams were swept away by strong floodwaters. Local people desperately looked at what was left after the landslide. They lost their houses, their crops and worst of all, their family members and neighbours.

Those left behind feared for their future.

Now, their pain has been partly relieved and smiles can be seen again on their faces as a new resettlement area with new houses has been built for them, not far from the old village.

In the place where they used to live, lines of solar-powered lights were installed. Bridges have been rebuilt. Children are excited about living in new houses and studying in new schools.

On a visit to Quảng Nam Province soon after the landslide, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc ordered support to people living in landslide-hit areas so that no one would be homeless or hungry and so diseases wouldn't emerge after the natural disaster.

The PM urged measures to quickly stabilise life and production for the people.

Secretariat of Nam Trà My District Party Committee Lê Thanh Hưng said people in Trà Leng Commune could soon recover from the severe natural disaster thanks to great and timely support from agencies, organisations and people across the country.

Severe storms, floods and landslides hit the district last October, claiming 19 deaths, leaving 13 people missing and causing severe injuries to 33 others. In Trà Leng Commune alone, the natural disaster killed 13 people, injured 20 people and 13 people are still missing, he said.

As many as 95 houses were buried by landslides or swept away by floodwaters, Hưng said, let alone damage to infrastructure, schools, healthcare centres and crops.

Trà Leng Commune People’s Committee chairman Phan Quốc Cường said the localities had been making efforts to search for missing people and create new stable accommodations and livelihoods for people affected by natural disasters.

On December 22, the construction of a new resettlement area was started by the government of Nam Trà My District to help the landslide victims.

Local authorities conducted a survey and chose a land plot with an area of ​​6ha for resettlement.

This land plot was donated by people in Trà Don Commune.

Local people and authorities in Trà Dơn Commune agreed to donate 6ha of their land to victims in Trà Leng Commune to build a resettlement area. 

Fifty-one households affected by landslides in Trà Leng Commune received VNĐ150 million from the Government and other donors to build new homes.

The local authorities also sped up the construction of basic infrastructure – power and clean water supply systems, a community house, preschool and roads – as well as restored cultivation areas so that farming could be resumed soon.

Officials and soldiers of Military Zone V donated VNĐ3 billion to help Trà Leng people build a new community house which would be used as a shelter during big storms.

Nguyễn Đức Xuân, director of An Xuân Phát One member Ltd Company – the resettlement project constructor – said the company donated more than VNĐ20 million to each family to complete their houses with the design featuring typical traditional house of the Mơ Nông people. 

Meanwhile, Vietnam Electricity donated VNĐ3 billion to build a preschool. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development donated 30 solar lighting sets and six tonnes of sticky rice for residents to have during Tết. The ministry also installed an automatic rainfall measuring system to deliver timely warnings about abnormal heavy rains.

Hồ Văn Đề, a village elder in Trà Leng Commune, said eight of his family members died or went missing due to the terrible landslide on October 28, 2020.

“The losses to my family and my whole village always seem to be unbearable pain to us,” he said.

“However, after the natural disaster, thanks to support from the Party, State and Government agencies, organisations and individuals, we know that we were not alone,” he said.

“We were not left hungry or cold. We have a new hope to start a better life,” he said.

“We will have a Tết (Lunar New Year) celebration in new houses. That makes us so happy,” Đề said. — VNS


Village elder Hồ Văn Đề receives his new land use rights certificate and house ownership certificates on February 6. — VNA/VNS Photo Đoàn Hữu Trung