Building Back Better and Stronger after Typhoon Damrey

Photo: The temporary shelter after typhoon Damrey hit - UNDP/Duong Van Hung. Story: UNDP/Phan Huong Giang

Phu Yen Province was hit by the Typhoon Damrey in 2017. An official statistic reported that nearly 100 houses’ roofs were blown away in typhoon-struck in Phu Hanh village. Phan Thi My Vang’s house is one of those.

Highlights

  • Nearly 100 houses’ roofs were blown away in typhoon-struck in Phu Hanh village in Phu Yen province
  • With the Republic of Korea’s support through the project “Typhoon Damrey Housing Rehabilitation and Recovery”, UNDP is building 300 resilient houses in the provinces of Quang Nam, Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa, in addition to repairing 5,403 houses with funding from the Central Emergency Relief Fund. It also trains maison groups, commune officials and selected community members on house-strengthening techniques. For communities at large, it organizes educational activities to increase their knowledge of storm-resilient houses. These sets of activities ensure that affected communities can build back better.

With panic still in her eyes, she expressed the disarray she felt when returning to her house: “I was so shocked. All my belongings were damaged, including the old television, clothes, foodstuff and my kid’s textbooks”. Like many others, she had to live in a temporary shelter without accessing to clean water, electricity and adequate material goods to ensure her well-being.

“My income as a construction worker or a carrier is unstable. Sometimes I cannot afford the daily lives of myself and my seven-year-old son and I have to ask help from my brothers and sister. Therefore, building a house is still a dream that I never dare dreaming about”, she shared.

Owning a house is one of the most important and solid assets people can have. For her and others in a similar situation, losing her house meant losing everything. Therefore, resilient houses are instrumental to improve Viet Nam’s coastal communities’ ability to recover from storms and extreme-weather events.

With the Republic of Korea’s support through the project “Typhoon Damrey Housing Rehabilitation and Recovery”, UNDP is building 300 resilient houses in the provinces of Quang Nam, Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa, in addition to repairing 5,403 houses with funding from the Central Emergency Relief Fund. It also trains maison groups, commune officials and selected community members on house-strengthening techniques. For communities at large, it organizes educational activities to increase their knowledge of storm-resilient houses. These sets of activities ensure that affected communities can build back better.

In this project, support is provided to the poor and near poor households that were affected by the typhoon. Priority was given to women-headed and elderly-headed households, and to the families of people with disabilities. The Red Cross, Vietnam’s Women’s Union, and local authorities carefully selected eligible households to ensure fairness and transparency. Each selected family received USD2,200 to rebuild their homes, with storm-resilient features this time, that were approved by the Ministry of Construction.

Vang is completing the construction of her new house. She is able to expand it, rise the foundation, build larger rooms that will help her face the next typhoon when it strikes. She can now live with dignity in the safe house.

“Thanks to the project, my better-off neighbors and my brothers, I have a new house which is more resilient to storms than my previous house and shelter”, Vang said happily.

Through the financial support of the Republic of Korea, and in close collaboration with local authorities, the Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority, the Viet Nam Red Cross, and the Viet Nam Women’s Union, the project brings happiness to typhoon-struck poor and near-poor households, while improving their ability to cope with future storms.

Ms Vang 2Photo: Her storm-resilient house 06 months after typhoon Damrey hit - UNDP Viet Nam

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