Changing lives

Storm-resilient housing in Quang Binh Province

Mrs Ton says:

"I lost three sons in 1968, during the American war. I have two daughters, but they are too poor to support me now."

"The terrible flood came in October last year. Before the flood, the poorest families were already living in the most vulnerable houses. I lived alone in a temporary house with a straw roof and no front-door. The flood washed away the soil floor and the little furniture that I had. I was hungry, when the water rose. It was the worst flood I'd ever seen."

Name: Tran Thi Ton

Age: 83

Location: Quang Tien Commune, Quang Binh Province

“Luckily I survived it, but I struggled.  I had support from the project [of CtC and AEPD] and I could receive rice, dried fish, and other essential items.  My small rice field can now feed me for 6 months of the year, so I also use the small space in front of my house to grow sweet potatoes.  I can sell things from this garden and can earn a further 50,000 Dong [£1.50] each month.  My daily meals are always rice and salt.  As my living is so poor, I could never afford to rebuild my house.  But the project enabled me to have this new, safer house. So I still don’t have enough food, but I do feel secure when the flood season comes.”



Another person benefiting from a new storm-resilient house is Mrs. Tran Thi Thoi, also in Quang Tien Commune.  She is 54 years old, and describes her own situation:

“My husband died 9 years ago, and since then I’ve had to raise my six children alone.  We lived in a temporary house before the October floods.  I did anything, everything, to raise money to support the children.  A couple of years ago I worked as a porter of construction materials, carrying bricks and cement on the construction site, earning 17,000 Dong [50p] per day.  But since then, my health hasn’t been so good and I couldn’t do more hard manual work.  I have no profit from my rice field because I need to sell the rice immediately at harvest time, when the price is low, at only 30,000 Dong [90p] for 10kg.”

“Before the flood, our house was made of lime. It was in poor condition, cracked, with a leaking roof.  The children would wake when the rain came in.  After the October floods the house was a wreck. If we had tried to repair it ourselves it wouldn’t be safe.  So we were so happy to have support from the housing project.  It’s made with new techniques, a stronger frame and roof.  We know it can withstand strong storms, so we feel safe, whatever the weather forecast.”

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