U.N. and Vietnam to build storm-proof houses

Impoverished communities in the coastal areas of Vietnam to benefit from this project by the U.N. and the Vietnamese government.

© Frank Wouters at Wikimedia Commons

Thousands of families in coastal communities in Vietnam will be getting free storm-proof houses from the United Nations and the Vietnamese government.

According to the latest Climate Risk Index published by research agency Germanwatch, Vietnam is one of the 10 countries that are most prone to the effects of climate change. People who live in coastal areas are also particularly vulnerable, especially when storms increase in intensity.

These communities are often part of impoverished areas as well, so spending their money on repairing or rebuilding their homes all the more disempower them. “There is a really strong link between poverty and being able to accumulate assets, and housing is one of the major assets,” said Jenty Kirsch-Wood, a senior technical advisor at the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

“If we can get some of these highly vulnerable people into safe houses, it not only protects their lives but also their assets and small businesses.”

The UNDP, together with the Vietnamese government, plans to build 300 houses by the end of 2018, and have a total of 4,000 houses by 2022. Kirsch-Wood added that they have built 37 homes so far in the Quang Ngai province.

After testing, monitoring, and evaluating, the housing program will then be expanded to other provinces in the country.

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