Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has agreed with the Construction Ministry’s proposals to expand the flood shelter pilot model across the northern central and central coastal regions.

Dung expressed his approval at the April 8 conference to review the implementation of a programme to help poor families in the two regions improve their preparedness against floods.

The programme, which was implemented under the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 716/QD-TTg issued on June 14, 2012, targets 700 poor households in 14 flood-prone communes in Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Phu Yen provinces.

Of them, 697 households have built steel-reinforced concrete flood shelters, each worth 30 to 60 million VND.

Dung praised the localities’ proactive participation in the programme despite limited support from the Government.

The PM expressed his hope that with the efforts of ministries, branches, localities and the entire population, the model will be replicated successfully, helping vulnerable areas during flood seasons.

At the conference, the Construction Ministry said the model has won the overwhelming support of local authorities and people.

The ministry suggested localities not involved in the programme study the pilot provinces to ready themselves for when the model reaches them.

The northern central and central coastal regions cover a total area of 95,792 square kilometres, encompassing 14 cities and provinces and a population of over 19 million people, of which 60,000 households are classified as poor.

Due to their geographical locations, the regions are usually hard hit by natural disasters, especially floods and storms.

Statistics show that over the past five years, natural disasters killed more than 1,500 people and destroyed over 500,000 homes.-VNA