Storm resistant house build for an impoverished family in Phu Yen province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Red Cross Society (VNRC)’s “Red-Cross house” model has helped thousands of impoverished residents in disaster-affected localities build or repair their houses which were destroyed by floods and storms.

The VNRC at all levels have built more than 24,000 houses for those who suffer heavy loss from natural disasters at the total cost of nearly 700 trillion VND (30.8 billion USD), which was sponsored by international organisations. Over 2,000 houses of which are disaster-resistant houses.

The houses have been built to suit the lifestyle of different ethnic groups and localities across the nation. For example: stilt houses are constructed for ethnic people in the northern mountainous localities while bungalows are popular among Kinh people or those in the south western region.

They have helped local residents stabilise their lives soon after the disasters.

Safe houses to cope with natural calamities, built by the VNRC like the flood-resistant model in Phu Yen province, have shown efficiency when they are able to accommodate 100-400 people in case of floods and storms.

However, construction expert Vu Kien Trung noted that the “Red-Cross houses” are usually built on the sites where old houses stood, without considering the sites’ vulnerability to natural calamities. He suggested devising plan to relocate disaster-prone villages and residential areas to safer places.

“Building houses in an insecure area will not be a sustainable measure”, he noted.

Regarding financial resource for constructing the houses, Trung said that the local budget should contribute to the effort, noting that many poor households struggle to repay the debt occurring from the house building. There should also be subsidies for building materials for the construction of “Red-Cross houses”, he added.

In the past years, besides the VNRC, the Vietnam Women’s Union, the Vietnam Farmer’s Union and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union have worked to mobilise resources to build houses for people in disaster-affected areas as part of the efforts to support them to have quick recovery from disasters and alleviate poverty.-VNA