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Flood victims in Trung Sơn Village ready for Tết

Update: January, 27/2019 - 09:00
Helping hands: Volunteers joined Trung Sơn locals to wrap sticky rice cakes for Tet.
Viet Nam News

By Khiếu Tư

We recently visited Trung Sơn Village, one of the areas in Thanh Hóa Province most heavily affected by severe flooding last August. 

Just six months after the flood, the village has come back to life, with new stilt houses and red sheet metal roofs appearing through the green bamboo forest.

Red flags hang along the path to the hamlet – a colourful welcome unimaginable just a few months ago. 

Households that were devastated by the high water are now ready to welcome the coming Tết (Lunar New Year) festival.

Đinh Thị Đúng from the village’s Chiềng Hamlet recalls: “When fierce floodwaters rushed into the hamlet last August, my family tried our utmost to run away. All of our belongings that we had collected over our lives were washed away. After the flood, we had nothing, including food to eat. At that time we did not dare to think about Tết.”

“Fortunately, thanks to assistance from authorities and donors, we have been given food, blankets, a plot of land and materials to rebuild our house. Soldiers stationed in the province’s Quan Hóa District arrived to help us build the house,” Đúng said, noting that her family’s life is now stable.

“We have access to electricity and safe water. We’ve been given a TV set and built a bathroom and septic toilet. We grow vegetables in our garden and raise chicken to welcome Tết which is approaching,” she said.

Rebuilding: A farmer in Thanh Hóa’s Trung Sơn Village gets water from a newly built safe tank. VNA/VNS photo Nguyễn Nam

Đúng’s neighbour Hà Văn Nêu’s family is preparing to settle at their new home which is located in a safe area.

“In the past, we faced many difficulties because we lived far from our neighbours in remote and low areas. Now the community lives in a safe place. It’s more convenient to help each other. And the most important thing is that we are not scared of floods any longer.

“We were moved by the support. We thanked authorities and donors for their help,” Nêu said.

Vi Văn Diện, the village chairman, told us that hundreds of houses were washed away or damaged by flood. Locals struggled with hunger and disease.

“Thanh Hóa provincial and district authorities directed us to set up four new areas for resettlement in the Pó, Pạo, Chiềng and Co Me hamlets. Each household is granted 225 sq.m of land to build a house and a garden and VNĐ75 million (US$ 3,200) for those whose homes were destroyed,” Diện said.

Locals who had to move were given VNĐ40 million per house, he said.

Strong homes: New stilt houses were built for Trung Sơn flood victims.
Devastation: The Trung Sơn Primary School was completely destroyed by flooding last August.

Trương Nho Tư, chairman of Quan Hóa District, said to date the district had received VNĐ14 billion ($603,000), 57,500 kg of rice, 4,720 boxes of instant noodles, 7,320 sets of books and many other items from donors.

As many as 360 households had benefited from the State’s budget, receiving between VNĐ15 million and VNĐ 75 million per family, he said.

In addition, local authorities had just launched a programe named "Compassionate Tết" by inaugurating a Red Cross House, a bridge, and launched medical check-ups and granted medicine free of charge for locals.

“A humanitarian fair with many cheap and free goods was held to serve locals while volunteers from other areas have arrived to wrap bánh chưng (traditional sticky rice cake) for poor families,” Diện said

“We hope that with effective help from society, flood victims in Trung Sơn Village can have an enjoyable Tết, creating more motivation for them to rebuild and stabilise their lives,” he said. VNS

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