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Vietnam lost 2,000 billion VND per year because of natural disasters


(02:55:41 PM, 05/10/2017)

In order to prevent dangerous natural disasters such as flash floods, landslides, the dissemination of knowledge to the people is extremely important.

This is the information presented at the workshop "Flash Flood - Natural Disasters and Prevention Measures" organized by Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Developmentin collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on October 3 in Hanoi.

* Lack of information makes people neglected

Vietnam is one of the countries most affected by natural disasters and climate change. Natural disasters, especially storms, floods and droughts, have strengthened in intensity and frequency, causing great losses in human life and damage to the economy. In specific, in 2016, natural disasters caused losses of nearly 40,000 billion VND. From the beginning of 2017, disaster losses will be approximately 50% compared to  2016. Generally, in the last 20 years, natural disasters have resulted in 10,800 people dead and missing. Annual GDP loss is 20,000 billionVND (1-1.5% of GDP).

According to Tran Quang Hoai, Director General of the General Department of Disaster Prevention and ControlMinistry of Agricultural and Rural Development), by May 2017, 63 out of 63 provinces have developed and implemented the project entitled "Community-based disaster management." However, the current limitation is the lack of funds to implement the project in the local and the effectiveness ofcommunity awareness raising is not high.

Regarding the warnings and forecasts, the forecasting units have increased the forecasts and warnings to the district level. Up to September 2017, there are 79 specialized rain measurement gauges stretching from northern mountainous provinces to Ha Tinh. However, the accuracy of the forecast and warning news is limited and only on wide range. The number of specialized measurement stations is still very small and the density is low.

In recent years, Yen Bai is one of the localities subjected to heavy rain and flash floods, especially in Mu Cang Chai district. Representatives of Yen Bai People's Committee said: Over the last few years, although the work of flood prevention and search and rescue has achieved certain results, it also has considerable restrictions. The main cause is that the grassroot level information and communication activities are still weak and the people are still neglected with natural disasters, floods, and search and rescue.

* Community based

Sharing the experiences of natural disaster prevention in general, flash floods, landslides in particular, Junichiro Kurokawa, Director of the Department of River Management and Disaster Prevention of Japan said: The continuous investment indisaster prevention facilities are indispensable. In addition, the accumulation of information on water levels in rivers and dams is very important, which is used for early warning. In addition, according to Junichiro Kurokawa, the important solution is to gradually raise people's awareness in disaster prevention.

On the prevention of natural disasters, according to Japanese model, Dr. Hirotada Matsuki, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan said that since the 19th century in Japan, local authorities have is primarily responsible for diaster risk mitigation based on the triangular model with self-help communities and frontline residents. The central government can support this triangular model technically and financially.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang, in order to overcome the shortcomings in natural disaster prevention and control, it is necessary to strengthen the forecasting, warning, rain measurement activities and warning landmarks. It is important to develop flood risk and landslides mapswith detailed ratio which identify potential risk factors. To applyfindings of scientific research, technology transfer; To provide timely information to remote areas (villages); To adopt a policy of sedentary farming and economic development in mountainous areas in order to reduce deforestation; To implement projects on relocation of people to prevent natural disasters.

M.Pham