Emergency relief targets the most vulnerable

“We have three cement water tanks to collect and store rain water. Normally we try to save it, because most days in the year we are short of water. We only use fresh water for cooking, drinking and bathing my 28-months daughter. We use water from the channel for washing dishes, clothes as well as ourselves. But the situation this year is much worse because of the drought and salt water contamination.” Photo: UNDP Viet Nam/ Phan Huong Giang

Local people in Giong Trom district, Ben Tre, have long relied on rain water and small local canals to meet their daily water needs. However, during the worst drought and salt water intrusion in 60 years, the price of fresh water rose sharply at the same time many families’ income was drastically reduced.  

Highlights

  • Local people in Giong Trom district, Ben Tre, have long relied on rain water and small local canals to meet their daily water needs.
  • More than 436 households in Ben Tre Province are being provided with fresh water and water tanks, and other emergency relief.
  • With support from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), UNDP is also working with World Vision and the Viet Nam Red Cross to provide support to a further 6000 affected households in Ba Tri district in Ben Tre, and Ham Thuan Bac and Bac Binh districts in Binh Thuan.

Le Thi Huong and her husband have been badly affected. Whilst she stays at home to care for their two year old daughter, her husband depends on seasonal farm or construction work.

“His work isn’t stable as he only works when others hire him, sometime two or three days a week or sometimes even less than that” said Huong. “During the drought and salt water intrusion, there was no work to harvest coconuts, and work in construction.”

When work is available, he earns roughly $5 USD a day. However, in order to care for her family she has had to spend nearly half of that amount daily on bottled water. “We have three cement water tanks to collect and store rain water. Normally we try to save it, because most days in the year we are short of water.  We only use fresh water for cooking, drinking and bathing my 28-months daughter. We use water from the channel for washing dishes, clothes as well as ourselves. But the situation this year is much worse because of the drought and salt water contamination.”
Huong started raising livestock as another means of support. However her pig got sick with diarrhea as a result of drinking contaminated water, and she had to sell it at a loss.

UNDP is providing the most vulnerable families affected by the drought and salt water intrusion with targeted support. More than 436 households in Ben Tre Province are being provided with fresh water and water tanks, and other emergency relief. This has been co-financed by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and implemented through Oxfam and the Viet Nam Red Cross.

With support from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), UNDP is also working with World Vision and the Viet Nam Red Cross to provide support to a further 6000 affected households in Ba Tri district in Ben Tre, and Ham Thuan Bac and Bac Binh districts in Binh Thuan.

Huong and her husband are delighted with their large water storage tank and fresh water. “Now we have fresh water for our child, and more water tanks for storage. Hopefully we will be much better prepared for the next drought season!”

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