Vulnerability Assessment – A toolkit for strengthening climate resilience for rural infrastructure

Vietnam is one of the most countries suffer serious impacts from natural disasters and climate change. The extreme weather phenomena such as heavy rain caused flash flood, landslides, embankments erosion and so on, increase both in frequency and intensity, which leads to negative impact to the current infrastructure, especially in the Northern Mountainous Area (NMA), with the high-elevation topographic feature and usually occur flash flood and landslides.

Highlights

  • The extreme weather phenomena such as heavy rain caused flash flood, landslides, embankments erosion and so on, increase both in frequency and intensity, which leads to negative impact to the current infrastructure, especially in the Northern Mountainous Area (NMA), with the high-elevation topographic feature and usually occur flash flood and landslides
  • How to assess the current situation and forecast the risk of damage to rural infrastructure before climate change (CC) and make prevention plan, select priority facilities for investment is the issue which provinces has no supporting tools
  • The toolkit includes the methodology used to identify areas which were easily vulnerable by the impact of climate change depend on the current and future disaster trends, infrastructure data and economic & society, support the assess priority to consider investment; evaluate investment’s effective of climate change adaptation and the effectiveness; select the most likely vulnerable rural infrastructure and quantify the risks related to climate change.

However, how to assess the current situation and forecast the risk of damage to rural infrastructure before climate change (CC) and make prevention plan, select priority facilities for investment is the issue which provinces has no supporting tools. Mr. Cao Viet Thinh, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Son La province said, "Effects of climate change on Son La Province annual is enormous due to floods, drought, flash flood and landslide. In which the works of the Son La also greatly affected. Especially the effects of climate change, we do not know when and where it will happen?"

Not only Mr Thinh, the district technical staff also met similar difficulties. Ms.Thu, an official of Yen Chau district, Son La province said "As a technical staff of agricultural and rural development department in the district, I am responsible for researching and recommending investment items of appropriate infrastructure rural to resist on the investment plan of the province. In terms of the limited budget from Gov., added with the impact of climate change on infrastructure growing exponentially, in many time I do not know where to start, what should priorities for investment? Does the investment today will sustainable for future?”

Response to difficulties of local authorities and involved officers, the Project "Enhancing the climate resilience of infrastructure for northern mountainous provinces” has developed and transfered to the local supportive toolkit for assessing rural infrastructure vulnerability.

The toolkit includes the methodology used to identify areas which were easily vulnerable by the impact of climate change depend on the current and future disaster trends, infrastructure data and economic & society, support the assess priority to consider investment; evaluate investment’s effective of climate change adaptation and the effectiveness; select the most likely vulnerable rural infrastructure and quantify the risks related to climate change.

The toolkit is developed for all rural infrastructures, such as rural roads, reservoirs, dykes, embankments and dams. Each type of rural infrastructure are built with the criteria and weighting used to evaluate separately. The level of vulnerability and vulnerability of the infrastructure works are shown on the map with different colors. Such red show works with high landslide risk, blue represents a lower level of vulnerable...

Dr. Nguyen Thanh Long, Specialist Risk & Landslide mapping said “To develop risk map to assess the withstand capability of construction to natural disasters, when building vulnerability index, usually using 7, 8 different index such as building materials, construction longevity, management and coordination ability of the construction. Manager can look on the map can see the disaster tolerance level of the construction”.

The content of the toolkit is transmitted through the capacity building program of the Project in order to help offices from districts and provinces level not only understanding the methodology but also increasing ability to apply those tools into realistically contexts. Ms.Thu said, "I have been invited to participate in training on the toolkit assessment of vulnerability and risk of climate change on rural infrastructure, I understand the significance of the map. The training also helps me more aware of the Rural Infrastructure of my province at the present and also in the future".

Ms. Quang Thi Duyen, member of financial department of Yen Chau district, Son La province - another trainee said “Before participated in the training course, we were also feeling the impact of climate change to rural infrastructure, but not specifically, we cannot describe it in word, only know that it can be easily damage. After taking the training course, knowing the toolkit, calculation formula which was transmitted by lecturers, I see more easygoing, more applicable”.

Response to demand of provinces, the project has trained for 600 people; with over 150 were managers/ technical staff and 35 training of trainers on the toolkit. In the future, the project will provide additional guideline on evaluation and mapping of infrastructure vulnerability to climate change and organize training this guideline for relevant people. It is hoped that the toolkit will be replicable and valid sustainable use for the local.

With practical and highly applicable, the vulnerability assessment tool of the project will be a partner of local leaders in the selection of investment priorities, ensuring ease the impact of climate change, apply low cost measures, environment friendly, help ensure life safety, effective economic development for future generations of people in this region.

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