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Risk & vulnerability

Vietnemse lady sings the key principles of cyclone resistant construction

Safer building codes are an important tool in reducing the vulnerability of buildings. Applying more widespread knowledge about safe construction would significantly reduce the level of damage and destruction, loss of life and injury. The majority of building worldwide is, however, built by the informal and semi formal sector. No architect, no engineer, no technician, no codes – only families & local builders. These builders have never had any professional training, they have learnt on the job using local practice.

Man made desert in West Africa

Man and 'natural' disasters

Few 'natural' disasters are natural although the hazards that create them - a cyclone or earthquake for example - are natural events. Man's presence and his actions alter the nature and extent of a disaster. In most instances, without the presence of man, there is no disaster.

A hazard event can have a small disaster impact on a well prepared community, whilst a similar hazard can cause massive damage to a badly prepared community.

Safer houses in Vietnam

The promotion of preventive strengthening of existing houses has been the central theme of DW’s work in Central Vietnam since 1999. Whilst public decision makers were sceptical the beginning, it is an approach that today is largely accepted by families and public authorities alike. The excellent performance of many hundreds of DW strengthened buildings during the Typhoon N° 6 Xangsane in October 2006 and again in 2009 (Cyclone Ketsana) increased the reputation of the DW approach, so that the Provincial authorities issued an edict in 2006 encouraging everyone to adopt

Part 2 the compendium links the risks in local housing to the appropriate measures to be adopted locally to achieve safer houses (or public buildings). These appropriate safe construction measures are based on the guiding principles of safe flood and cyclone resistant 10 key principles of  construction tested in various regions of Vietnam by Development Workshop and by the Thua Thien Hue provincial Department of Construction and through their application in different regions of Vietnam and elsewhere worldwide.

Part 3 of the Compendium proposes