Danh, Thanh Vo and Mushtaq, Shahbaz (2011) Living with floods: an evaluation of the resettlement program of the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. In: Environmental change and agricultural sustainability in the Mekong Delta. Advances in Global Change Research (45). Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, pp. 181-204. ISBN 978-94-007-0933-1
The Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD) is a region increasingly affected by flooding. In 1996, the Vietnamese government launched an ambitious Living With the Flood (LWF) program. The objective of the program was to build dwelling houses for residents relocated from the VMD’s flood areas. The program has built more than 1,000 resettlement clusters (RCs) for the 200,000 households and 1 million people previously living in the now permanently flooded areas. Total investment capital has been about US $200 million. While the LWF policy is accepted and popular within the VMD, there are many reasons that make the resettlement program both successful and unsuccessful. Identifying the factors influencing the effectiveness of the program will help local authorities to develop appropriate measures to improve the resettlement program. The rationale of this study was to review and conduct a qualitative analysis of the effectiveness of the resettlement program.
The policy recommendation drawn from the study is that to effectively cope with yearly floods in the long run, people need to adjust their habits and their social and economic
activities, towards living with floods and gaining benefit from them, rather than preventing them. At the national level, economic development strategies and planning in the VMD need to be consistent with the LWF policy. At the local
level, authorities need to persuade and assist people to better adapt to flooding.
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