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Safe shelters for animals: from the local practices to the national target program on safe housing of Government in Central Vietnam

December 2015

Safe upstairs shelter for animals, family members and precious objects above the flood.

The central coastal provinces, and especially some districts in the midlands and highlands of these provinces, often face to high flooding (more than 2 m)  which could came quickly and last several days. Preventing flood for humans is natural matter, besides people must know how to protect their own property and livestock. For long time, to the farmers, buffaloes and cows are very important for their living conditions. And still now, an animal represents a high investment (20-30 Millions Dongs). In order to keep the cattle safe from flooding, people often leads them to higher hill;  this is only a temporary solution and not very safe because some of following points:

- Taking them up the hill to avoid floods, somebody must stay with them to take care; it’s very hard in rainstorms.

- Cattle may have unusual manifestations during big rainstorm; for they are so much fear that causing a lot of troubles for caring.

- And most importantly, sometimes there is not enough time to guide them up the hill because the flood came quickly, especially in the context of climate change.

To solve the problem, villagers in Provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen… after large floods, developed the idea to build a safe area (“choi”, second storey over the level of flooding) on their plot for buffaloes and cows to keep them safe, as they avoid flooding by lofts (such as small mezzanines in the house). Building “chòi” with an area of 10m2 - 15m2 is enough shelter for 5-10 cattle including food storage area for them. With local materials and local labor, the cost for one “chòi” is around 20-30 Millions dongs. This solution provides highly efficiency and was copied by others villagers in the region.

These experiences were evaluated by experts from the Ministry of Construction.  And the idea / solution for safe shelter for animals was integrated in the Programmes in the areas vulnerable to high flooding. The National target program for Safe Housing is divided into two phases from 2012 to 2016.

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