Published by SuperAdminMICRODIS
|Location: Quang Nam, Vietnam|
Hue College of Economics
|Location: Quang Nam, Vietnam|
Hue College of Economics
|Located on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is a developing country with a total land area of nearly 332,000 square kilometres. According to the Vietnamese governmentís declaration, Vietnamís territorial water is 12 nautical miles, which equates
to one million square kilometres of privileged economic waters. The country stretches over 1,650 km in length from the North to the South. Three-quarters of the country is covered by mountain and hills, the rest is the vast deltas of the Red and Mekong rivers.
Vietnam has 2,860 rivers, the two biggest being the Red River in the North and the Mekong in the South. The country also has 3,200 kilometres of coastline with almost 3,000 off-shore islands. Facing the Pacific Ocean in the East, Vietnam is considered as one of the most prone-natural disasters countries in the world.
Vietnam is located in a tropical climate region, where both the continental air stream and equatorial ocean air stream are blowing. Therefore, its climate is affected by the Asian monsoon, mainly the winter and summer monsoons. The climate of the North includes two different seasons: the cold season from November to April, and the hot season from May to October. The South is affected by the summer monsoon, and so it is hot all year round, yet it still has two distinct seasons: the dry season from December to April and the rainy season from May to November. On average, Vietnam has nearly 2000 hours of sunshine per year; about 100 days of rain, with a volume of about 2000 mm/year; a humidity of around 85%; and a temperature of 24oC. Vietnam is usually also affected by six or seven storms and low pressure systems annually, mainly in the North and Central regions. This climate pattern has caused negative impacts on the socio-economic development, especially on local poor communities. In the context of increasing climate changes with frequency and severity of disasters, the country suffers from many types of natural disasters: floods, storms, tropical depressions, storm surges, inundations, whirlwinds, flash floods, river bank and coastline erosion, drought, landslides, and forest fires. Among these types, floods are the most threatening, then typhoons, and third comes droughts as the major natural disaster risk (Tuan and The, 2009).
In the last ten years, Vietnam suffered from a number of extremely destructive disasters. The 1997 typhoon Linda in the Mekong Delta provinces killed nearly 3,000 people, and was considered as the most devastating disaster in the century nationwide. In 1999, the historical flood in Central Vietnam was the worst one in a hundred years in this area. This flood killed 715 people, inundated nearly 1 million houses, swept away thousands of houses, and incurred an economic loss of about $350 million. This loss was among the biggest disaster related damage in the 20th century in Vietnam (CCFSC, 2005). Since then, climate changes, impacts, vulnerability and adaptation have been a subject of intense debate among government development strategies in recent years. Vietnamese Central Government recognized that it is necessary to obtain accurate and more comprehensive data on the source of climate changes, impacts and the implications of all development plans from central to local level.
|Quang Nam, Vietnam:|
|As shown in Table 2, the population of the Quang Nam is approximately 1.4 million people comprised by Kinh people, Ca Dong, Xe Dang, Monong, Co and other small ethic minority groups. Most of ethnic minority groups are living in the 9 upland districts such as Nam Tra My, Bac Tra My, Que Son, Nam Giang, Tay Giang, Phuoc Son, Hiep Duc, Tien Phuoc and Dong Giang. It is important to note that most of populations are living in rural areas (82.5%) where agricultural productions such as paddy, husbandry and handicraft production are main livelihood practices (see Table 2). This has become a constraint to socio-economic development of Quang Nam as large number of population living in rural areas often involve in low-income practices, and unemployment. The population density is relatively low in comparison with of Red river and Mekong delta.
Table 2: Total population by gender, residential area and density
(Source: Quangnam Statistical Yearbook, 2007)
|It is located in the heart of Vietnam, about 860 km to the north of the city of Ho Chi Minh and 865 km south of the countryís capital, Ha Noi. To the South of Quang Nam is Quang Ngai with Dung Quat- a largest industrial zone in Central Region. Da Nang city is neighbor city in the North, which is well-known centre of the Central Region. To the West of province, Quang Nam shares border with Laos Republics, and Kontum province and Sea in the East.
There are 18 administrative units at district level in which 9 of that are defined as upland and mountainous districts where local communities mainly imbed in agricultural production and natural resource access (e.g. deforestation, mining and materials) for their survival. These districts are also recognized as the most prone disaster areas such as storm, flood flash and erosion. The rest of provinces are delta and coastal regions where local community mainly involves in farming and fishing activities for their income generation. These districts and town are also the most prone flooding areas in the context of increasing climate change.
The province located in the point of intersection between the two geographical regions of North and South which are characterized by aslope topography from West to East with many mountainous ranges, short rivers, delta and coastal areas that created a diversified ecosystem and become one of the highly disaster prone disaster regions in Vietnam. Rainy season and dry one are identified as typical climate pattern of Quang Nam. Rainy season occurs from September to January with annual average rainfall of about over 2000 mm (most of which fall in from October to late of November), flooding is a regular occurrence that caused serious impacts on local communities, especially in the flooding prone areas such as coastal areas, low-lying deltas and downstream of rivers. In dry season, high temperature and Southwest monsoons also cause droughts in Quang Nam. In terms of resources, Quang Nam has diversified ecosystems and natural resources. Table 1 shows that a large area of province is upland and mountain covered by forest.
Upland area is also considered as comparative advantages of this province that can be use for industrial tree planting, however a lack of infrastructure and poor communities are common features of, that constrain socio-economic development in these areas. There are about over 300 thousand hectares of unused land that are likely to use for agricultural production (see Table 1). Besides, the province also has potentials to develop industrial sectors such as petrol, chemicals, cement production, and granite production.
Table 1: Land used patterns of Quang Nam
(Source: Quangnam Statistical Yearbook, 2007)
|Socio-Economic Development and Local livelihoods
It is important to recognize that the successfulness of economic renovation of Vietnam (i.e. Doi Moi policy) has brought prerequisite accelerating the development of multiple dimensions of Quang Nam. During the last two decades of economic renovation, the province has made remarkable economic strikes, with annual growth rate averaging in excess of 10.0% over the last 5 years (see Figure 2). The industrial sector has gained greater importance in Quang Nam's GDP, with its share increasing 34% in 2005 to 38% in 2007. The service sector has made considerable progress in diversification and its contribution of 36% to provincial GDP (see Figure 3). Rapid growth rate of economic development has improved the living standards in both urban and rural communities in last five years with an increasing GDP from about US$ 600 to US$ 800. It also resulted in remarkable progress in the elimination of hunger and reduction of poverty. The proportion of the population living in the poverty has reduce by more than a half in last decade, from over 50% in 1993 down to 21% in 2007 (Quang Nam Statistical Yearbook, 2007; Quang Nam People Committee, 2007).
Despite its relatively small areas and a population of 1.4 million people, with its rapid economic growth and comparative advantage in position the province is recognized as a key economic zone for the Central Region of Vietnam in the Overall Comprehensive Development Strategy. Quang Nam province is well known for its cultural resources and natural beauty, and has become a major tourism centre in Vietnam. Quang Nam People Committee has acknowledged the role of the Tourism Industry as strengthen linkages among economic sectors and alleviate poverty at local level. Additionally, Quang Nam now calls for a change in its economic structure so that tourism, industry, construction and services will be the key socio-economic drivers of province. However, like other provinces in the Central Region, due to unfavourable weather condition, poor infrastructures and poor local communities, Quang Nam is one of the poor provinces in Vietnam.
Over 82 % of provincial population living in rural areas, and 67.4% of labour force working in agricultural sectors while agricultural sector contributed only 26% of provincial GDP. It indicates the fact that agricultural production is still main economic sector creating job for local communities in Quang Nam, however majority are low income-generating practices. Evidently, there is a big gap in terms of income between labour working in agriculture and industrial-service sectors. Additionally, most of labour working in agricultural sector lives in local communities which are prone-flooding areas, thus lead them to more socio-economic vulnerability to disasters, especially flooding than any other groups in the context of Quang Nam.
Table 3: Distribution of Labour Force by Main Economic Sector
(Source: Quangnam Statistical Yearbook, 2007)
In terms of local livelihoods, local communities, especially those in the prone-flooding areas of Quang Nam tend to involve in subsistence living practices. For ethnic minority groups living in upland areas, cultivation, husbandry, Non-timber forest product collection, and reforestation are main livelihood practices generating income for them.
Farming activities, husbandry, and non-farming ones are main source of income of communities who live in delta regions (most of them are Kinh people). For households who live in urban areas such as Hoi An, Tam Ky and along National Highway No. 1, non-farm activities and services are main livelihood practices while farming activities are only minor sources of income of this group. One of the most flooding prone group is fishing communities who are living downstream of rivers, and coastal lines, fishing activities and fishery processing activities are main practices.
Generally, it can be concluded that farming activities in Quang Nam tend to be more subsistence than cash crops, rice is the dominant crop but yields are low. Successfully growing other crops is relatively limited by viable alternative options due to lack of resources, information and poor infrastructure. Seeking for sustainable livelihood alternatives for local communities, especially for those who live in flooding prone areas will play an important role in increasing vulnerable communities' resilience to climate changes.
|It is important to recognize Quang Nam's great efforts made to improve infrastructure for educational system and health care one in the context of poor province. Table 4 indicates that 100% of communes having health care stations and primary school for local people
access to. In responses to the impacts of flooding event, local health care stations play a crucial role in dealing with emergency cases such as injuries due to disasters, treating infectious diseases. Health care stations and schools also become public shelters for flooding evacuees. For example, there were 70,000 people evacuating to such buildings during the 2007 floods. The fact, however, shows a lack of equipments installed in these health care stations and schools, thus leading to limitation in delivering services to local
communities, especially for those living in disaster prone areas. Given that condition, it is necessary to give them more priority to invest more facilities so that they are able to deliver better services to local communities.
Table 4: Education and Health care system in Quang Nam
(Source: Quangnam Statistical Yearbook, 2007)
|Climate change and disaster in Quang Nam
Increased climate variability have been occurring widely throughout country, and particular in Quang Nam province, especially increased volume of rainfall caused by climate change during the last few years has intensified the flood events in this region.
The situation is projected to worsen the frequency and severity of extreme disaster events. Climate changes, especially extreme disasters killed thousands of people and destroy the livelihoods of millions of people annually.
The most frequency and severity in Quang Nam are flooding events; unfortunately it points to the fact of increasing frequency of flooding events. The flooding events are regular occurrence which result from heavy rainfall in September to November annually.
Annually, Quang Nam often deals with 3 to 4 floods. Due to its typical topography of aslope from West to East with short rivers, flooding events often occur rapidly and inundation lasts from 4 - 6 days in downstream that caused huge losses in terms of socio economics and health (Tuan and The, 2009). For example, in 1999, the historical flood in this region was the worst one in last hundred years. The flood killed 715 people, inundated nearly 1 million houses, swept away thousands of houses, and incurred an economic loss of about $350 million. In 2007, 9 flooding events on the road within two months caused devastating impacts on local communities with damaged cost estimated upto VND 2000 billion.
It is stated that typhoon is one of the major and dangerous types of disasters in Vietnam in general and particular of Quang Nam. Typhoon often occurs in from August to December annually. Typhoons raise sea levels, cause storm surges and inundation.
Typhoons destroy houses, buildings, infrastructures in affected areas, and generate waves which can damage sea dykes protecting coastal areas. The torrential rains accompanies by typhoons can cause flash floods and submerge low-lying areas, causing losses to agriculture and fisheries (Tuan and The, 2009).
The third kind of disaster in Quang Nam is droughts which caused serious impacts on local communities, especially on agricultural production. Droughts often occur in July to September annually.
Due to its typical topography, flooding events often occur rapidly and cause serious impacts on local communities in Quang Nam. It is reported that the costs of relief, recovery and reconstruction consume billions of dollars from household savings and government development budgets (Quang Nam PC, 2008). Disasters push households toward poverty by destroying their assets, resources and even their lives and trap them in local poor communities into vicious circle of poverty. The population is likely to be hardest hit by flood disasters is the poor communities who lack resources and little capacity to cope with, and to take protective measures for reduction of, impacts of flooding events. Investigating disaster impacts on, and strengthening capacity for, local communities are important to integrate local capacity for climate change adaptation and risk management in order to mitigate vulnerability and safeguard the sustainable community-based development for local communities.
Flooding events in 2007
The year of 2007 was recognized as "year of flooding event" in Quang Nam (Quang Nam PC, 2008). Due to impacts of storm No. 5&6 in the North provinces and monsoons, heavy rain occurred in the whole province with rainfall averaging 2000 mm, in some districts rainfall reached nearly 3000 mm, in October 1st to 7th December, 2007. Within nearly 2 months, there were 9 flooding events occurred in Quang Nam province. In which there were three big floods occurred in only 20 days (from 15/10 to 5/11/2007): the first flood occurred from 15/10 to 18/10/2007; the second one from 29/10 to 01/11/2007; and the third one from 01/11 to 5/11/2007). Consequently, many communes were inundated about 1.5-1.7 meter, about 0.5-1.5 meter higher than water level of historical flood in 1999. Especially, it caused many serious impacts as local communities have not recovered from previous floods yet. These floods have caused many difficulties for people in the province.
It was reported that 2007 floods killed 67 people and 339 people injured and total damaged cost of VND 2000 billion. Local authorities had to evacuate about 70,000 people from inundated areas to public buildings (Quang Nam PC, 2008). There were 200,000 people need urgent aids of foods and water. The 2007 floods caused devastating impacts on local infrastructure: In the flood season, rain and overflowing limit transport, community roads experience serious damage. Floods isolate villages by disrupting community roads, prevent access to services, and suspend business activities. The 2007 floods also caused pupils off-schooling, collapsing information and communication systems. Infrastructures such as sea dykes, village-connected roads and main roads in coastal communities in Quang Nam were degraded seriously.
Local government has conducted a resettlement program for over 5000 households from flooding basins to safety areas. It, however, find less successfulness as households could not move to new place as they don't have capital to build new house, especially a lack of livelihood practices in the new resettled areas. Thus, "living with flood" has become adaptive strategy of both local authorities and local communities in flooding basin in Quang Nam. Conducting flooding impact assessment and seeking for initiatives in order to mitigate flooding impacts on local communities living in the flood prone areas will make significant contribution to sustainable development in flooding basin in Quang Nam.
Table 5: Damages caused by floods and by province in 2007
(Source: http://www.ccfsc.org.vn and Quang Nam PC, 2008).
|- Quang Nam People Committee (2008), Annual Report on Disasters in 2007 and Planning for Disaster Prevention in 2008. Tam Ky town, Quang Nam, Vietnam.
- Quang Nam People Committee (2007), Annual Report on Disasters in 2006 and Planning for Disaster Prevention in 2007. Tam Ky town, Quang Nam, Vietnam.
- Quang Nam Statistical Yearbook (2008), Statistical Data 2007. Statistical Publishing House, Hanoi, Vietnam.
- Tuan, Tran Huu and B D The (2009), Disasters in Vietnam: A Synthesis from Socio Economic Perspectives. Book chapter submitted for EarthScan publication.