Culture Culture

02/12/2019 - 13:45

"Joining hands to build a new life"

That is the message at the memorial ceremony and art program to look back on 20 years of major flooding in the Central region, organized by the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, in collaboration with Thua Thien Hue Province People's Committee.

Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Phan Ngoc Tho speaking at the ceremony.  Photo:  Phan Thanh

Attending the ceremony were Mr. Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Member of the Party Central Committee, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Deputy Head of the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control; Ms. Truong Thi Ngoc Anh, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee; Mr. Le Truong Luu, Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee.

"The wound has been healed"

The program "Joining hands to build a new life" is to look back on the images, painful memories, the resilient struggle of the people and the drastic participation of the entire political system during the flood in 1999 through recreating the program "Looking back at 20 years of great floods in Central Vietnam". This historic flood is said to have been a “deluge", causing great loss of life and property to the Central region, in which Thua Thien Hue province suffered the heaviest damage.

Twenty years have passed, and the people of the central region in general and Thua Thien Hue in particular have turned pain into action and loss into energy. The Government and people of the Central region have striven constantly and are achieving strong socio-economic developments. The capacity of natural disaster prevention and control has been improved and enhanced. This contributes to improving the material and spiritual life of the people and their safety in the face of natural disasters.

At the ceremony, Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Phan Ngoc Tho expressed that in the past 20 years, the "wounds have been healed" on lands devastated by the historic flood of 1999. We are proud of having recovered and overcome all difficulties and losses, as well as having contributed to rebuilding our homeland with the help of local communities, authorities and social organizations.

Art performance in memory of the 1999 flood. Photo: Phan Thanh

According to initial estimates, it took Thua Thien Hue 10 years to rebuild and overcome the consequences caused by the great flood. However, only after a short time, the province has basically solved environmental repercussions, social security, and construction works after the flood. This has contributed to the successful organization of the first Hue Festival in April 2000 with national and international scales.

From the year 2000 to date, the province has received support and assistance from the Government, ministries and central branches, and with the support of international organizations such as the United States Agency for International Development, JICA, KOICA, Luxembourg , Federal Republic of Germany, World Bank, ADB, UNDP, DWF, Community Fund for Disaster Prevention and other organizations and individuals to build programs and projects to prevent, respond to and overcome consequences of natural disasters, climate change adaptation, capacity building and Natural Disaster Prevention and Control works.

By 2019, the province has invested in constructing 56 irrigation reservoirs, 13 hydroelectric reservoirs with a total capacity of over 2 billion m3, contributing to flood reduction and water supply for downstream areas. Typical projects are Ta Trach lake, Binh Dien, Huong Dien, A Luoi hydropower plants, Thao Long dam and Cua Lac dam.

The systems of canals, pumping stations, embankments against coastal and river bank erosion have been gradually invested in, contributing to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters; transportation connection and communication systems during floods have been gradually completed. The bridge system across An Cuu River and the bridge across Tam Giang lagoon are being invested in to connect both sides of Tam Giang - Cau Hai lagoon (Tam Giang, Thuan An, Truong Ha and Tu Hien bridges).

The road from Hue city to Nam Dong, A Luoi has been completed and the urban road system has been upgraded. The tunnels of Hai Van, Phu Gia and Phuoc Tuong are completed. Highway 1A is upgraded and expanded to 6 lanes. The La Son - Tuy Loan Expressway has been basically completed and the Cam Lo - La Son Expressway has commenced.

Thanks to the initiative in promoting internal resources and the community's cooperation to improve prevention capacity, the property and life damage caused by natural disasters in recent years has been gradually reduced to the lowest level. This has contributed to the average economic growth rate of the province by 7.2% per year in the period of 1999-2018.

The scale of the economy increased 7 times (according to 2010 comparative prices). The GDP per capita in 2018 reached 40.8 million VND, 81.6 times higher than in 1990.

On behalf of the provincial leaders, Mr. Phan Ngoc Tho expressed his gratitude for the sacrificing examples of cadres, soldiers and compatriots for the lives of the people in the flood; forever deeply grateful to the solidarity hearts of domestic and foreign organizations and individuals for supporting the people of Thua Thien Hue in the most difficult time.

Representative of the Central Relief Committee donating a safe house in the face of disaster to Thua Thien Hue. Photo: Phan Thanh

Need to improve disaster response capacity

Responding to natural disasters in the coming time, especially with the 60-year cycle of the great flood in 1964, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Deputy Head of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control Nguyen Xuan Cuong asked the authorities at all levels, Natural Disaster Prevention and Control force, the armed forces and the People to regularly improve awareness and capacity of natural disaster prevention and control; do not neglect and be caught off guard, but actively respond to adverse situations to ensure the safety of life and property of the State and the people.

The relevant departments need to enhance the application of science and technology, improve the capacity of forecasting, monitoring, supervising and alerting information to serve the administration and direction; and providing timely information to the people. At the same time, improve the operational efficiency and ensure the safety of the natural disaster prevention and control works, such as reservoirs, shelters for people and boats. Natural disaster prevention and control works, infrastructure systems, rescue equipment, rescue, communications ..., all need to be invested synchronously...

The authorities at all levels need to integrate the contents of natural disaster prevention and control into socio-economic development plans at local levels and branches. Particularly for Thua Thien Hue province, the leader of the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control proposed to continue deploying and promoting the achieved aspects of some typical localities on the natural disaster prevention and control; at the same time, sharing experiences for other localities in the region and across the country to implement.

By Hoang Trieu