Illustrative image (Source: internet)

Ninh Thuan (VNA) – A meeting was held on May 22 at Nguyen Binh Khiem high school in Phuoc Nam commune, the south central province of Ninh Thuan, calling for efforts to mitigate disaster risks in schools and community.

Nguyen Binh Khiem school’s students presented photos and videos on impacts of natural disasters and droughts on the environment and people’s life together with joint solutions.

They joined their teachers in a drill responding to natural disasters when they hit their school.

Attending the event, Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam, said she wants Ninh Thuan’s leaders to pay more heed to the prevention and combat of natural disasters, placing children as the centre of the effort.

The province also needs to pay attention to the issues of supplying safe water and ensuring environmental sanitation for local people, especially when droughts and saltwater intrusion are likely generating bigger effects, she said.

She advised the locality to integrate indexes on children into its socio-economic development plan.

According to the Natural Disaster Prevention and Control General Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, natural disasters cause the death and missing of around 300 people and economic damage worth 1-1.5 percent of GDP a year on average.

Besides visible damage, natural disasters trigger long-term consequences to the living environment and effects on people’s life and production and the country’s sustainable development.

During 2015-2016 and the first months of 2018, Ninh Thuan was hit by two long droughts, which were said the fiercest over the past two decades. The droughts severely affected 31 out of the locality’s 47 communes and forced nearly 42,000 people to deal with a shortage of rice and daily water.

At the end of 2018 and early 2019, the province suffered floods which were triggered by three storms, which caused heavy economic losses.-VNA