Community role in Quan Ba district upheld in natural disaster risk mitigation

(VOVWORLD) - Quan Ba district in the northern mountain province of Ha Giang is one of the localities where ActionAid International in Vietnam has implemented a community-based disaster prevention program since 2007. Through the program, the local community has taken the initiative in planning to respond to and prevent natural disasters.
Community role in Quan Ba district upheld in natural disaster risk mitigation - ảnh 1The solar lighting system helps Quan Ba people protect the environment and mitigate climate change. (Photo: Duc Anh)

Quan Ba, a border district in the north of Ha Giang, is comprised of 12 communes and one town with more than 100 hamlets. It often faces natural disasters like hail, whirlwinds, floods, landslides, and severe cold.

Since 2007, several localities in Quan Ba have been chosen by ActionAid International in Vietnam to carry out a community-based disaster prevention program with focus on preparation, response, and recovery.

Hoang Phuong Thao, Chief Representative of ActionAid International in Vietnam, said that for response programs, the organization focuses on improving the communitys capacity so that they can understand what natural disasters their area often faces and make proper preparations.

“We have diverse response activities, providing both material and information support and capacity building. Before deploying any model, we hold meetings with local people to get their opinions,” said Thao.

During the implementation of the program, drills are carried out and communication on natural disaster prevention is promoted.

Luc Giang Bang, Deputy Secretary of Tung Vai commune, told VOV that every year, the local administration coordinates with district and provincial agencies to organize disaster prevention training for people at hamlet level so they are aware of the complex natural disaster situation and how to prevent disasters.

“Prior to an anticipated disaster, people repair their houses, strengthen their roofs, and use sandbags to protect against tornadoes. People are warned to harvest crops ahead of heavy rains to ensure their food supply,” said Bang.

Community role in Quan Ba district upheld in natural disaster risk mitigation - ảnh 2The new flood-proof bridge in Thang hamlet is built by a collaboration of ActionAid International and local people. (Photo: Duc Anh)

All communes in Quan Ba have now set up natural disaster response steering committees, built disaster prevention and response plans, and regularly update the weather forecast so people can protect their house and livestock.

Do Quang Dung, Deputy Chairman of the Quan Ba district People's Committee, said that a rescue team has been established with 80 members and commune-level natural disaster prevention and search and rescue teams, each of which has at least 20 members.

He noted that Quan Ba has 107 hamlets, all of which have a task force. The team members are young people and militiamen.

“When there is news about a severe cold spell, for example, we use social media platform Zalo to issue warnings. We suffered no loss of human life or livestock during the most recent cold spell because of good preparation,” Dung recalled.

Community role in Quan Ba district upheld in natural disaster risk mitigation - ảnh 3The old bridge in Thang hamlet is built on two I-beams. (Photo: Duc Anh)

The flood-proof bridge in Thang hamlet and the solar lighting system in Suoi Vui hamlet are two of many projects sponsored by the Tung Vai commune community-based disaster prevention program.

Then Thi Nguyen, a Youth Union member in Thang hamlet, said that the flood-proof bridge, 9 meters long and 2.5 meters wide, was built in 2022. It took 2 months to build the bridge, with all materials paid for by the project, while local people donated the labor.

“Before the bridge was built, people were completely isolated when prolonged heavy rain caused flash floods. In the flood season, children often missed school. Since the bridge was built, the children can get to school more safely. Travel and trading is now easier and safer during the rainy season,” said Nguyen.

Thanks to the support of authorities at all levels and ActionAid International's community-based disaster prevention program, there has been no serious loss of life or property in Quan Ba district in recent years. even though the district still experiences natural disasters.