Above: Training session at community level in Da Nang city
Da Nang is one of the cities that is most affected by climate change in Vietnam because of storm surges and typhoons that take place almost every year. For the past month, ISET and the city of Da Nang organized 11 training sessions on housing design and construction in typhoon-affected areas to explore pathways for scaling up a storm-resilient housing model to the whole city. The trainings took place in 7 districts of Da Nang and are part of the feasibility study project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with participation from 347 people representing both governmental and non-governmental sectors. At the community level, there were 8 technical training sessions within different wards and communes whose local houses are seriously unsafe to storms. A number of these unsafe homes will be rebuilt and retrofitted in the coming months under the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) project.
The community-level training sessions received active participation from community members, particularly the local builders who are directly involved in low-income housing construction in most cases. It was found from the trainings that local builders in some wards have much experience in strengthening the house, and how to reinforce parts of the house for storm resistance. However, most of them are not fully aware of the demand of comprehensive reinforcement, in which all building parts and elements are required to be securely built and connected to achieve a so-called “storm-resilient house”. In addition, there was a lack of knowledge and limited awareness in safe housing construction from a portion of vulnerable households. Many of them still underestimated the importance of safe housing in vulnerability reduction and poverty alleviation. In sum, the training has, firstly, alerted groups and communities at the grassroots levels about the necessity of safe housing in strengthening household and community resilience and, secondly, reminded local builders of some additional points they need to consider to ensure a storm-resilient construction practice.
The training sessions at the community level also received high appreciation from the ward and commune authorities. These people are involved in equipping their communities with basic and advanced knowledge on storm-resilient housing along with the delivery of clean and clear technical manuals for different groups of local stakeholders.