On 23 August 2019, a one-day demonstration session on disaster risks reduction was held in Vinh Hai Commune, Phu Loc district (Hue) as part of the USAID Green Annamites project. The main objective of the project is to assist Vietnam in its transition to climate-smart, low emission and resilient development through increased application of climate-smart development practices and enhanced biodiversity conservation in the Central Annamites.
Vietnam's coastal regions are frequently struck by natural disasters in August and September, the heaviest rainy months. Climate change is increasing the severity or frequency of a natural disaster due to storms and rainfall. Therefore, practicing disasters risk reduction practices, raising people’s awareness and turning them into actions is crucial to ensure a sustainable future for the coastal lagoon region.
Vinh Hai Commune (Phu Loc District) is located within the most disaster-vulnerable region of Thua Thien Hue and recorded a huge number of disaster victims, especially children and the elders. Therefore, training on disaster prevention and mitigation practices for community members is key in increasing the survival rate as well as protecting the local property.
The demonstration session was attended by 250 participants including Project Management team, 150 households living in the most vulnerable areas along the sea border, 22 from the district’s Committee for Disaster Management, 30 from Emergency Response Unit and 25 representatives from other communes. The session provided practical and handy knowledge on disaster risk reduction practices in households, necessary equipment, evacuation routes and locations, disaster prevention practices in agriculture and ways to contact emergency units. Moreover, participants also had the opportunities to re-practice first aid instructions to immediately save lives and minimize the risks of further injuries.
In addition, the demonstration featured situations in which the response to natural disasters was facilitated from the top down. Participants could observe how the authority mobilised resources for the most effective response and minimum loss of lives and properties. At the same time, local authority staff could brush up on their actions so that they could act efficiently in a chaotic situation in the case of unexpected natural disasters
After the training, participants had the chances to discuss their experience to generate lessons learned. “I will share the knowledge and skills acquired in this training with my neighbor and community members to better cope with natural disasters and ensure people’s lives and properties”, said Mr. Huynh Quoc Dung, from Vinh Hai commune in Thua Thien Hue.
Overall, the DRR demonstration achieved the main objectives of strengthening the management capacity of the authority upon natural disasters as well as evaluating the feasibility of evacuation routes and raising the awareness of residents on disaster risk reduction practices. With USAID Green Annamites project support, the locals were also equipped with necessary tools such as communications billboards, waterproof bags, disaster risk maps & wall calendars.