Disaster risks to northern rural infrastructure assessed

Landslide and flash flood risks to 10,837 rural infrastructure facilities in the north of Vietnam have been assessed in a bid to boost their climate resilience.

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The assessed facilities, including roads, river embankments, reservoirs, canals and spillways, are located in 15 northern mountainous provinces, according to a May 17 workshop on methods of mapping landslide and flash flood risks for rural infrastructure. 

The function was held in Hanoi by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility. 

Building maps of landslide and flash flood risks to rural infrastructure is part of a project on promoting climate resilient rural infrastructure in Vietnam’s northern mountainous provinces. The project is supported by the UNDP and the Asian Development Bank. 

Bui Quang Dung, a representative of the project, said maps will be created after landslide and flash flood risks to rural infrastructure amidst climate change are assessed. 

Maps scaled at 1:500,000 will be drawn for climate change scenarios at present, in 2025 and in 2050 for the mountainous provinces. The road, embankment and irrigation systems will have their own maps. 

Dung said the risk maps will provide a vision of rural infrastructure’s vulnerabilities currently, and in the next 10 and 35 years. It can help policy makers and local authorities determine the priorities to carry out. 

Echoing the view, Pham Duc Dung, deputy head of the sub-department for irrigation and disaster prevention of Lao Cai province, said the maps will serve as a basis for local authorities to steer anti-disaster and climate change response activities. 

Vietnam is one of the five countries most affected by climate change. More than 220 people died or went missing, while damage totaled US$660 million a year due to unseasonal rains, landslides, erosion, whirlwinds and lightning between 2011 and 2015, according to the central steering committee for natural disaster prevention and control.


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