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Michelle Fox, Director of Art + Communications, ISET-International Phong Tran, Ph.D, Technical Lead, ISET-International, Vietnam

In October 2011, The Women’s Union (WU) of Da Nang Vietnam, working with the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET), proposed a microcredit and technical assistance program aimed at developing storm resistant shelters in vulnerable districts of Da Nang called The Storm and Flood-Resistant Credit and Housing Scheme in Da Nang City (The Project). Due to the many coastal and flood prone neighborhoods throughout the city and a growing population of 926,000, intense storms and frequent flooding have become a harsh reality for Da Nang’s citizens. With limited resources and relief efforts being prioritized over disaster risk reduction, the residents of Vietnam have been offered little opportunity to seek shelter from the next storm, often rebuilding after a storm with the same flawed construction technique as before. With funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, ISET, WU, Da Nang Climate Change Coordination Office (Da Nang CCCO), and Central Vietnam Architecture Consultancy (CVAC) banded together to fill the critical gap between one disaster and the next—developing a mechanism which both rebuilds and protects.

Two years later, on October 15, 2013 Typhoon Nari (typhoon no. 11) landed in Da Nang city at dawn with level-12 winds and level-13 gusts equivalent to 130km/h. Persistent storm winds coupled with heavy rainfall led to flooding in many areas of the city. The typhoon caused severe damages—many people were injured, thousands of homes endured damage to the structure and roofs, and tens of thousands of trees either broke at their trunk or were uprooted by the severe winds and clogged critical roadways. According to the report of Da Nang City People