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Analyzing flood risk and related impacts to urban communities in central Vietnam

Razafindrabe, Bam H. N., Kada, Ryohei, Arima, Makoto, Inoue, Shoji
Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change 2014 v.19 no.2 pp. 177-198
climate, cohesion, coping strategies, disasters, educational status, floods, governance, households, income, livelihood, risk, risk management process, risk reduction, secondary education, Vietnam
This study aims at understanding flood risks and their impact on a community, in order to enhance communities’ resilience and adaptive capacity to these threats. It also investigates the possibility of looking at and handling risk from a resilience point of view. Therefore, while a conventional risk management process is employed in this study, social, physical, economic, and institutional dimensions of resilience are also included in order to grasp the extent of risks and the ways in which communities face, cope with, and recover from flooding. Findings showed that there was no significant difference in the perception of flood risk among household heads educated up to secondary school level, suggesting that they believe floods are purely natural events. Those with a higher level of education (high school and above) (82.7 % of respondents) were aware that flood disasters are the result of hazard and vulnerability combined. In addition, social dynamics were apparently strengthened by such disasters, which resulted in cohesion and mutual help following floods in some wards. Also, households with more sources of income and more savings appear to recover faster than others after a flooding event. With regard to governance and networks, greater efforts have to be made by local institutions to ensure basic functioning during and after disaster events and to invest more into risk reduction activities. However, further studies need to be conducted to clarify the understanding of the impact flood disasters have on the environment and community lives and livelihoods in general, as traditional coping strategies, although still practical, no longer suffice in the face of changes in climate and environment.