Mangroves reduce disaster risk, boost income options in Vietnam
14 May 2012 23:45
Source: Alertnet // Saleem Shaikh And Sughra Tunio
Community members plant mangroves in Vietnam's rural Thanh Hoa province. Photo: Srabani Roy/Asia Foundation
By Saleem Shaikh and Sughra Tunio
HANOI, Vietnam (AlertNet) – Memories of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Damrey, which struck coastal areas of northern and eastern Vietnam in 2005, are still fresh in Pham Thi Tuyen’s mind.
“The cyclone was (the most) powerful, dreadful and cataclysmic event I had ever witnessed in my life,” recalls the 37-year-old rice paddy farmer.
But Tuyen and other residents of rural Thanh Hoa province feel more confident about withstanding future storms, thanks to a project that takes advantage of the coastal protection offered by mangrove forests.
In the hours before Typhoon Damrey hit in September 2005, with winds of 100 km per hour (60 miles per hour), nearly 300,000 people were evacuated from the coastal areas of Thanh Hoa and Nam Dinh provinces.
“We had no choice but to flee for our lives to higher ground, leaving behind everything, including our cattle,” recalled Pham, who lives in the remote coastal community of Da Loc, in eastern Thanh Hoa province, about 175 km (110 miles) south of Hanoi, the capital.
A storm surge ripped apart 3.7 km (2.3 miles) of dykes in front of her village and inundated most of the district’s coastal communities, including agricultural fields, fruit orchards and cattle farms.
But in Da Loc community, one protective dyke, 1.7 km (1 mile) in length, survived the cyclone because it was buffered by thick mangrove forest.
“This was when we realised how stubbornly the mangroves can withstand tropical cyclones like Damrey,” said Vu Xuan Ngoc, a 33-year old fish farmer. “This was a key lesson nature taught us.”
Following Typhoon Damrey and an increasing number of cyclones that have affected Vietnam in the last five years, a number of international non-governmental organisations have begun working in disaster-prone coastal areas of Vietnam, building on evidence that mangroves can play a crucial role in reducing the destruction from cyclones.
Read in detail at :- http://www.cdrn.org.in/show.detail.asp?id=24074