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Cyclone damage prevention to housing - Vietnam

Safer houses in Vietnam

The promotion of preventive strengthening of existing houses has been the central theme of DW’s work in Central Vietnam since 1999. Whilst public decision makers were sceptical the beginning, it is an approach that today is largely accepted by families and public authorities alike. The excellent performance of many hundreds of DW strengthened buildings during the Typhoon N° 6 Xangsane in October 2006 and again in 2009 (Cyclone Ketsana) increased the reputation of the DW approach, so that the Provincial authorities issued an edict in 2006 encouraging everyone to adopt these techniques.

DW has collaborated with hundreds of individual families to strengthen their existing homes. Each beneficiary house is surveyed, the weaknesses discussed and a contract drawn up detailing the work to be done to make the building safe and defining the contribution that will be made by the family and by the project. The project makes a subsidised contribution in the order of about 150 US$ and since the beginning of 2009 families have had access to a credit fund to help in their contribution to costs, established by DWf in collabraotion with the Vietnam Bank for Social Policy. Families now cover all the costs, and, using trained skilled labour and their own help, manage the strengthening work. See family case studies

No two buildings have the same strengthening needs, but typical actions include ensuring that all parts of the structure are solidly tied together, that the roof covering is securely held done with reinforced ribs or bars, that the building has strong doors and shutters and that walls are made more water and wind resistant.