Storm-resistant houses increase resilience of the coastal affected communities

Story and photo: UNDP Viet Nam/ Phan Huong Giang

Typhoon Damrey, also referred to as storm number 12, was considered the deadliest storm of 2017, in Viet Nam. It battered Khanh Hoa province on 4 November, devastating some of the poorest communities of the South-Central coastal region.

More than 130,000 homes were damaged, including over 3500 that were destroyed. Since the typhoon, displaced families have had to live in temporary and unsafe shelters. They lost everything except their lives, and now lack money to buy materials to repair their homes.

Highlights

  • Typhoon Damrey, also referred to as storm number 12, was considered the deadliest storm of 2017, in Viet Nam. It battered Khanh Hoa province on 4 November, devastating some of the poorest communities of the South-Central coastal region.
  • Displaced families have had to live in temporary and unsafe shelters. They lost everything except their lives, and now lack money to buy materials to repair their homes.
  • With the support from the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund and the Republic of Korea, more than 5,300 houses in Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen provinces will be fixed and new roofing sheets installed.

“My house consists of two parts: a part in the front and another in the back. The part in the back collapsed and the entire roof of the front flew away. At that time, I stayed at home to move our furniture to a safe place while my wife and our children were at the Commune People’s Committee. I ran out of the house when I saw the roof flutter and fly away due to the strong winds. I was very scared,” said Dang Thanh Son, a poor father of two children living in Tan Dan 2 village of Van Thang commune, Van Ninh District.

It was the first time that Son and his family had experienced such a ferocious storm. Before the typhoon came, they never thought that they would have to live in a roofless and damaged house. Like other poor households, their lives depend much on the weather. “I am a laborer. When a neighbor or others need me to do something, I will do anything they need, in order to earn money. My wife collects snails to sell,” said Son.

The typhoon left thousands of people without resources, and in dire need of assistance from the government, businesses, and charity organizations. Son’s home as well as all his furniture was damaged, so far, in terms of support he has received only 10 kilos of rice, a supply of noodles, and 3,000,000 VND, as emergency relief from the commune. He also borrowed money to buy some materials to repair his house.

To provide support to the vulnerable people, like Son, affected by the typhoon, UNDP has worked closely with implementing partners and local authorities to provide direct combination of cash and vouchers that is the most cost-efficient modality of assistance for the rapid response for emergency shelters. The financial assistance was also accompanied by leaflets and household visits on typhoon resilient housing principles, aiming to improve the public of this topic.  

“I will use the money to repair the house. I will use the money to buy bricks to build a wall to repair the collapsed wall,” Son said after receiving the first 50% of the total assistance entitlement. He will receive the remaining 50% after the project officers visit his house to check that he is using the first installment to repair it.

With the support from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the Republic of Korea, more than 5,300 houses in Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen provinces will be fixed and new roofing sheets installed. Training and engineering support have been also provided to beneficiary households to ensure high quality, resilient-housing.

“This support is very timely, especially for disadvantaged people who cannot afford to fix their houses. The project has helped them get cash and material vouchers to repair the house and to be warm enough in this coming Tet holiday”, Ms Nguyen Thi Be, a representative of local government said happily.

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