Preparation of soil packs
© CSRD

Strong roots, strong women: Project start during the pandemic and disaster season in Central Vietnam

RISK Award 2021

The project "Strong Roots, Strong Women" in Vietnam won the RISK Award 2021. It consists of several sub-projects, but all of them aim to empower women in society. The financial support from the award will be used to build a community-run mangrove nursery in Thua Thien Hue province.  The mangroves will be planted along the coast to increase the resilience of the population to storms, floods and erosion. The nursery will provide direct income for the community members. It is also intended to raise awareness among many coastal communities through plays on various topics such as flood prevention, gender, climate adaptation and the role of ecosystems.

The mangrove nursery takes shape

"Strong Roots, Strong Women" started late due to COVID-19. Due to curfews in Vietnam joint workshops with the Women's Union and preparatory work on the play on risk communication could not begin. Both are to start after the end of the rainy season (end of November) and the construction of the mangrove nursery.

However, despite the difficult corona situation in Vietnam, progress has been made in the planning of the mangrove nursery. After consultation with local authorities and cooperation partners, a site in Thien Hue province was selected for the nursery according to biophysical criteria. The area is 4000m² and belongs to the Vinh Tri Agriculture Cooperation, which also has the necessary knowledge and provides the technical equipment. 

Levelling and dividing of the future mangrove nursers
© CSRD
The area of the future mangrove nursery is being made usable by levelling and dividing it.

Sustainability needs training

Before the first seedlings arrived, workshops and seminars were held. A community group consisting of eleven women and eleven men was formed and trained on  everything about mangrove gardening so they can run the nursery on their own in the future. The transfer of ownership is an essential part of sustainable project work. The group learned how to collect mangrove seeds from the ripe fruits, how to plant and care for the seedlings and how to finally transplant them into containers. Information on optimal soil composition and fertilisation completed the training. 
Group Training
© CSRD
During workshops, the local community was trained to plant, manage and replant the mangroves.

First field trials

The original project plan was to harvest the needed seeds directly from the mangrove fruits in the region. However, due to flooding in 2020 and the delayed start of the project, the seeds from surrounding mangrove forests were not of good quality. The available number was also too low. In order to get the nursery started, seeds were ordered from Ca Mau province. About 20,000 seedlings are needed for the planned 15,000 trees. Unfortunately, the weather deteriorated drastically again in September and October after the contact restrictions were lifted. Therefore, it has not been possible to plant the seeds so far. As soon as the weather changes and the flood season is over, the seeds will be planted. The project team hopes for the end of November. Furthermore, about 4000 soil packs have already been prepared for the seedlings. 
Preparation of soil packs
© CSRD
In order to start the project as soon as possible after the end of the rainy season, about 4000 soil packs for the mangrove seedlings have already been prepared.

Outlook

Together with our partners from Potsdam University and CSRD, we hope that the weather conditions in Vietnam will improve in November. At the same time, the Corona numbers must not deteriorate further in order to avoid further curfews. If both factors are fulfilled, we can look back on a successful project start under COVID-19 conditions at the end of the year. The first steps of the climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction project in Thua Thien Hue have been initiated.
N.R., 11 November 2021