International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction
The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is an opportunity to acknowledge the progress being made toward reducing disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health.
Meet Vo Thi Tan she is a 60-year-old Vietnamese woman. She and her husband used to live in an unstable house with a brick wall and a shoddy steel roof. She couldn’t forget the extreme fear she felt when her roof was blown off during a fierce storm that hit her small village in Quang Nam province.
As part of Habitat for Humanity’s Australia international programs in Vietnam, we work with our implementing partner Habitat for Humanity Cambodia to provide PASSA (Participatory Approach to Safe Shelter Awareness) training to the communities we work in. A participatory approach to safe shelter awareness (PASSA) aims to raise the awareness of the ‘every day vulnerable’ of the ‘everyday risks’ related to their built environment and foster locally appropriate safe shelter and settlement practices.
Vo Thi Tan is an active member of the PASSA group, she contributed her voice to find a solution to reducing the risk of natural disaster for her own home and community. Through her training, she was confident she could protect their home from disaster by utilizing the wood from their garden to strengthen their roof by applying resilient shelter techniques.
As a result, when Vietnam was hit consecutively by six tropical storms and typhoons that brought heavy rains and widespread flooding to much of central Vietnam including Quang Nam, especially Typhoon Molave. It was reportedly the strongest storm to hit Vietnam in 20 years, damaged about 92,000 houses with a majority of them in Quang Nam where Vo Thi Tan and her family live. Thanks to the reinforced roof Vo Thi Tan and her family were safe through the storms and their home was not damaged.
Thanks to our implementing partner Habitat for Humanity Vietnam and partnership with DFAT’s (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) Australia’s NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), our Vietnam PASSA training has provided vulnerable families with livelihood skills to make their shelter more resilient to natural disasters.