Community-based disaster management in central Vietnam


In disaster-prone central Vietnam, community-based disaster risk management puts local villages and communities at the centre of preparedness efforts. The Government of Vietnam is presently (2016) spending $18.5 million on community empowerment (through community cultural and school activities, workshops and other preparedness training activities), drills and physical infrastructure construction chosen by communities across 100 communes in central Vietnam. The training, infrastructure, and public awareness raising efforts are increasing the resilience of local communities to disaster events such as floods, droughts and typhoons. Moreover, people are involved in the supervision of their construction and are responsible for operating and maintaining these structures. In this way, local ownership is encouraged. The approach taken is unique as it recognizes that communities know best when it comes to living with natural hazards. It takes into account the knowledge and expertise of local villagers, which has proven effective in reducing losses from disasters. "The Community-Based Disaster Risk Management Program, which was launched in 2009, supports Vietnamese communities to reduce the negative impact of disasters at the local level", Van Phu Chinh, Director of the Disaster Prevention Bureau under Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, observed: "In areas where the community is highly involved in disaster risk reduction activities, losses from disasters are significantly lowered". 10,600 persons have been directly involved until now.

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