Vinh Long – lying in the central region of Mekong Delta River – is one of the most prone areas to climate change’s impacts. According to the Provincial Mitigation Plan 2012, seven out of eight districts are submerged every year, significantly affecting the local population of 350,000 residents roughly. Inundation, river bank collapse and tree diseases due to weather changes rooted directly in the gradual loss of traditional livelihoods such as cultivation and aquaculture. So how an area of which 50% regional GDP is contributed by agriculture and 58% of population are farmers addresses the mentioned challenges?
By morning of 30 October 2013, the launching of project “Livelihood Improvement for Building Resilient Communities” (abbreviated to LIBRE) was celebrated with participation of ADRA Vietnam and representatives from Provincial People’s Committee, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vinh Long Union of Friendship Organization, People’s Committee of Vung Liem and Tra On District and 4 project communes.
LIBRE centers on two core pillars: Sustainable economic development favoring agricultural field and Community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM). This four-year-project funded by ADRA New Zealand with the total grant of NZD 500,000 and ADRA Vietnam brings together experts skilled in focused themes.
Activity area lies on 4 communes Trung Thanh, Hieu Phung and Vinh Xuan, Thich Thien in two districts Vung Liem, Tra On – Vinh Long. Those are regions having high rate of poverty and confronting high risk of natural disasters while not constructing an appropriate adaptation mechanism. The project aims at helping local farmers in mitigating disaster’s impacts.
Mr. Haike Manning – New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam – honorably presented “New Zealand is so proud of sponsoring this meaningful project. LIBRE harmonizes the goal of livelihood improvement for the people through sustainable approach and community-based disaster risk management. The region of Mekong Delta is in extreme need of those projects. New Zealand is currently supporting other projects in adjacent areas, including Tien Giang and Ben Tre. In Vinh Long, we also direct fund to Land Reform Program, which has gained remarkable achievements. We put great hope on the success of this project.”
It is targeted at 30,000 primary beneficiaries through disaster mitigation activities, of which 2,000 people will be benefited from income-generation models. The project prioritizes participants as poor women and households in which women have to bear the main work.
Project activities will be specified under following categories: (1) Enhancing knowledge and training on disaster risk management, building local schemes; (2) Providing trainings on market-based economic development and value-added of agro-products; (3) Implementing the Cow Bank Initiative and encouraging innovation husbandry methods.
ADRA Vietnam has been co-partner with Vinh Long Union of Friendship Organization and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, along with other related local authorities for project implementation.