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Vietnam, UN Collaborate to Build Storm-Proof Houses in Coastal Provinces

300 free houses are expected to be built by the end of this year.

According to Reuters, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Vietnam’s government is working together on a housing scheme, which will provide free storm-proof houses for residents living on the coast. When finished, the scheme is expected to benefit 20,000 poor and disaster-exposed people living in 100 communes. 

Each house will consist of two rooms and a mezzanine designed for flood protection. They will also feature storm-resistant roofing and stronger concrete construction. Each house costs US$1,700 to build.

The project aims to build 300 homes by the end of this year and 4,000 by 2020. Thirty-seven have already been completed in Quang Ngai. After testing and monitoring, the initiative will be expanded to Quang Nam, Quang Binh, Thua Thien Hue, and Thanh Hoa provinces. 

Talking to Reuters, UNDP Senior Technical Advisor Jenty Kirsch-Wood explained that the project's goal is to protect coastal communities from future typhoons and to help lift people out of poverty.

“There is a really strong link between poverty and being able to accumulate assets, and housing is one of the major assets,” Kirsch-Wood said. “If we can get some these highly vulnerable people into safe houses, it not only protects their lives, but also their assets and small businesses,” she adds.

The project also aims to use the designs as templates for future housing projects.

The housing initiative belongs to a five-year project titled "Improving resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to climate change in Viet Nam," which has received US$29.5 million from the UN Green Climate Fund. 

[Photo via Yahoo]

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