Mangrove nursery
© CSRD / Strong Roots Strong Women

RISK Award Vietnam – Far too much water!
Floods and storms hamper project progress

An interim report

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    The aim of the RISK Award 2021 in Vietnam is to protect coasts with mangroves and to empower women to take active roles in disaster risk reduction. Currently, this plan is again complicated as the project region was hit by cyclones and heavy floods in October 2022. 
    Floods in Hue
    In October 2022, Hue (Vietnam) was again hit by severe floods.

    First, Cyclone Nuro hit land in early October and caused damage. However, our mangrove nursery held up well. However, Nuro brought massive rainfall, which led to widespread flooding in the following weeks. The city of Hue was largely flooded, but also the surrounding region. To this day, our tree nursery is also under water. The water is not expected to recede until the next few weeks. Until then, it will not be possible to make a precise inventory of the damage caused. However, we are already receiving estimates from CSRD's project partners.

    It looks as if the approximately 18,000 trees planted in the tree nursery last year will tolerate the floods well and suffer little or no damage. Their roots are sufficiently deep. The approximately 12,000 seedlings from this year, on the other hand, had little chance of sprouting roots. Here we will probably have high failure rates after the flood waters run off. While there are thus some hurdles to overcome in the nursery, the project team is making great progress at two other construction sites. 

    Coastal protection with mangroves

    Mangroves in nursery
    © CSRD / Strong Roots Strong Women
    The mangroves which were planted in 2021 already didn't take too much damage from the floods and standing water.
    In 2021, the project team purchased 15,000 additional mature seedlings that were not grown in the project's own nursery. These additional seedlings were planted on the coast during 2022. This action was financed by the corporate responsibility commitment of The Cotswold Company from the UK. This reforestation activity was successful and the mangroves will contribute to making around 3 to 5 hectares of coastal landscape more resilient to climate risks in the future. 

    DRR education and visibility

    Two local volunteer groups have been formed in each of five communes in Hue Province on Tam Giang Lagoon (specifically in: Quang Loi, Hai Duong, Phu An, Phu Xuan and Quang Thai) together with the Women's Union. Their task is to promote the ideas on eco-DRR and resilience through mangroves in the communities. They started rehearsing plays on the topic in October and November. They are also collecting ideas and recommendations for action on how to broaden income opportunities for women in the region. Especially after disasters, when the "normal" occupations are dormant - such as fishing and processing - diversification helps to survive the most difficult phases and buffer income losses. The best ideas are collected in a manual.
    Mangroves in nursery
    © CSRD / Strong Roots Strong Women
    The mangroves from the second production cycle (2022) will most likely be damaged significantly.

    Evaluation and impact measurement

    The project in Vietnam is being scientifically monitored by the University of Potsdam. An important component is the evaluation of the project results and impact measurement. For the upcoming public workshops and theatres, a questionnaire has now been developed to record the respondents' attitudes and level of knowledge about Eco-DRR. The results will provide insight into the impact of the educational work. Gaps can then be closed through targeted further information measures.

    In the second year of the project, the RISK Award team has achieved a lot. Most of the goals set were achieved. However, due to the massive flood events - for the second year in a row - there were one or two setbacks in the mangrove nursery. It is precisely these risks that show how important a healthy, resilient coastline is for the people of Hue and beyond.

    CB, 07 November 2022