Institutional improvement must for effective disaster prevention
Workers fix an irrigation project damaged by floods in northern mountainous Lai Châu Province’s Than Uyên District.
Việt Nam should improve the country’s institutions and legal documents to enhance efficiency in natural disaster prevention and control, said Hoàng Văn Thắng, deputy minister of agriculture and rural development.
He said this during the second consultation meeting in Hà Nội on Wednesday mainstreaming the content of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction in the context of the national strategy for natural disaster prevention and control till 2030, with a vision to 2050.
The meeting was co-organised by the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Thắng said disaster management should have integrated solutions and that disaster risk management should be a priority, adding that mass participation should be mobilised at all levels.
According to him, investment is currently mainly focused on response solutions and due attention is not being paid to disaster mitigation solutions.
In fact, development without sustainable solutions has resulted in the increase of natural disasters. For example, the construction of infrastructure without proper planning has caused floods and flash floods to recur.
The pressure of population growth and the expansion of the economy have also heightened the risk of natural disasters. Thắng said it was necessary to consider between development goals and natural mitigation activities.
Sustainable development should be closely linked with disaster risk management and climate change, he added.
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction sets out seven targets that countries need to achieve, including information access, international co-operation and national and local strategies with a vision to 2020.
Based on the nature of the disaster and the targets of the Sendai Framework, Việt Nam has strived to minimise economic losses caused by natural disasters, particularly storms, floods and droughts, by focusing on disaster prevention.
Việt Nam has set forth six priority programmes, which include strengthening the capacity of central and local agencies as well as the community, establishing a disaster management information system and restructuring of production and livelihoods for sustainable development of the Mekong Delta to adapt to climate change.
Addressing the consultation, Takeya Kimio, technical adviser to the president of JICA, said since the Sendai Framework was formulated, Việt Nam had taken initiative and made great efforts to improve its institutions to increase resilience and persistence for disasters.
JICA would support the country in the first five years to strengthen its institutions, develop strategic plans and implement them as well as in setting up plans on disaster prevention in localities, Kimio said.
Awards ceremony for “Savour Vietnam” photo, video, writing contest
Ban Gioc waterfall
The Saigontourist Company and Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper held an awards ceremony for the second edition of their photography, video, and writing contest themed “Savour Vietnam” with a total value of 685 million VND (30,100 USD).
Sports festival helps enhance solidarity among overseas Vietnamese in Ukraine
Nearly 100 Vietnamese football, table-tennis, and tennis players and coaches in Ukraine participated in a sports festival held by the Vietnamese Embassy there.
The event, which took place in Kharkov city, forms part of the Vietnamese Cultural Year in Ukraine’s activities. It attracted nearly 1,000 spectators from Kharkov, Kiev and Odessa.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Nguyen Anh Tuan said the event demonstrates the response of the Vietnamese community in Ukraine to the late President Ho Chi Minh’s call to exercise in order to better their health, as well as their solidarity.
Elsewhere, the “Vietnam Day” programme was held in Lviv city, the centre of culture and history in western Ukraine, also as part of the activities for the Vietnamese Cultural Year in Ukraine.
The event was co-held by the Embassy; the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism; the Vietnam-Ukraine Friendship Association; and local authorities.
Organised in the region for the first time, the “Vietnam Day” saw the participation of Vietnamese people across the nation as well as from neighbouring countries such as Germany, Poland, and Hungary.
The programme featured a series of activities, including fairs that introduced Vietnamese goods and cuisine to the local population, along with seminars on tourism cooperation, and a photo exhibition on Vietnam’s landscapes and people.
One of the highlights of the event was an art programme with Vietnam’s traditional instruments performed by artists of Vietnam and overseas Vietnamese from Ukraine’s cities of Kiev, Odessa and Kharkov, attracting many residents and tourists in Lviv city.
Over 76 percent of Hanoi communes recognised as new-style rural areas
As many as 294 out of the 386 communes in Hanoi, or 76.16 percent, have been recognised as new-style rural areas.
As many as 294 out of the 386 communes in Hanoi, or 76.16 percent, have been recognised as new-style rural areas, said the municipal steering board of the programme on agriculture development and new-style rural area construction for 2016-2020.
In addition, four of the 18 city districts have now received the title.
Average per capita income in rural areas reached 38 million VND (about 1,650 USD), rising by 5 million VND compared to 2015. Health insurance coverage in the districts and towns hit 83.53 percent, while the rate of rural poor households was brought down to 2.57 percent in late 2017 from 3.65 percent in early of 2016.
The steering board has been closely monitoring and addressing difficulties in the implementation of the programme across 16 districts. Meanwhile, the municipal People’s Council has issued new policies creating favourable conditions to realise the programme’s targets.
Over the last two years, the city spent more than 25 trillion VND on the implementation of the programme, with 58 billion VND from the State budget and about 10.6 trillion VND from the city’s coffer.
By 2020, Hanoi aims to have from 10-12 districts and 85 percent of the communes recognised as new-style areas. It also plans to raise the average per capita income of rural residents to 49 million VND and bring poor rural household rate to under 1.5 percent, while ensuring that all rural citizens will have access to clean water.
The city is now home to 154 large-scale fields of high-quality rice, 100 safe vegetable production zones, and 50 gardens for flower and ornamental plant cultivation. As many as 12 collective brand names have been established, including Dan Phuong grapefruit and Dai Thanh longan.
Moreover, the city has developed 15 areas of cattle farms and 76 key animal breeding communes. In 2017, the production value of Hanoi’s cattle-raising industry increased 2.74 percent.
Hanoi has also enhanced the application of high technology in agriculture. There are 123 high-tech agricultural models in the city, with the value of high-tech farm produce contributing 18 percent.
The national target programme on building new-styled rural areas was initiated by the Government in 2010 with the aim of developing rural regions. It initially had 19 criteria, and the increased to 20 in 2015.
Fisherman support model helps enhance law enforcement at sea
At the press conference
The model “Coast guards support fishermen” has helped the Vietnam Coast Guard and other forces effectively perform patrols and inspections of the law enforcement at sea, heard a press conference in Hanoi on July 3.
Extra efforts needed to address urgent matters
Some people damage motorbikes of Binh Thuan province’s Department of Planning and Investment
Leaders of ministries, sectors and localities stressed the need to tackle the delayed settlement of complaints and denunciations and urgent matters at a national teleconference between the Government and localities on July 2.
Reporting on the country’s socio-economic situation in the first half of 2018, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung recalled public unrest in several localities during which some were incited to damage the assets of several State agencies.
The Party and State directed localities to carry out appropriate measures to restore order there.
In the remaining months of this year, ministries, sectors and localities should intensify dissemination to make locals understand the Party’s policies and State’s law, and strictly punish instigators, Dung suggested.
Chairman of the People’s Committee of central Binh Thuan province Nguyen Ngoc Hai said that the social disturbance occurred in the locality on June 10-11, affecting social order and safety and security, as well as the peaceful lives of locals.
The case was a lesson for the provincial Party Committee and People’s Committee and the entire political system.
The province pledged to learn from experience, and intensify communications to raise public awareness so they can stay vigilant.
Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said efforts should be focused on addressing the delayed settlement of complaints and denunciations.
He asked local authorities to hold dialogue with citizens to solve their petitions in a right way.
It is essential for local authorities to clearly explain to people about what they do not know, he said.
Meanwhile, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man suggested ministries, sectors and localities carry out measures to stop fake news and inaccurate information from spreading.
He stressed the need for intensifying dialogue with people in numerous forms.
Regarding transport projects and build-operate-transfer (BOT) fees, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said developing BOT projects is the right policy, as mobilising social resources helps complete the transport infrastructure system.
He expressed his hope that the Ministry of Public Security, other ministries and localities will assist the Transport Ministry and investors in maintaining security and order as disturbances often strike BOT projects.
He also committed to ground clearance work in major transport projects such as North-South Highway, and My Thuan 2 bridge.
Hospitals requested for timely response during heat wave
Heat wave has hit northern localities in the past days.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) has sent a warning to provincial and city-level health departments, hospitals and health centres about the need to strengthen the monitoring of weather forecasts from the National Meteorological and Hydrological Forecast Centre and the implementation of medical examinations for people.
The official message was sent on July 3 by the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment under the MoH, in response to the increasing needs for medical examination and treatment of harmful effects during the on-going heat wave in the north.
The move came as an increasing number of patients have been hospitalised nationwide in recent days due to hot weather.
The Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital in central Nghe An province recorded almost 1,800 children coming for medical checks-up and treatment on July 2 and 3. Most of the cases were diagnosed to suffer from pneumonia, bronchitis, diarrhea and scarlet fever.
Director of Hanoi’s Dong Da General Hospital Le Hung said the hospital received an average of 700-800 patients for checks-up and treatment each day during the past week, 200 higher than the figure in normal days. Elderly patients accounted for 70 percent of the total, he added.
The message specified that at medical examination centres, hospitals must maintain clear guidelines on the examination process and uphold strict quality criteria.
Hospitals must have sufficient seats and additional fans to ensure ventilation and cooling for patients awaiting medical examinations.
Hospitals also must provide air-conditioners (if available); free drinking water to patients; medical examination desks and improve the process of medical examination and reception to minimize patients’ waiting time.
At hospitals’ treatment departments, depending on the specific financial conditions, the hospitals will install electric fans or air conditioners to ensure patients stay in cool conditions and provide free drinking water for patients.
Hospitals must minimise patient bed-sharing and isolate and control infections to prevent cross-contamination of infectious diseases in hospitals.
The hospitals must be able to supply enough emergency medicine, beds and emergency medical facilities to handle urgent cases caused by the unusual heat wave such as heart disease, brain and stroke.
Hospitals will actively receive patients and treat summer diseases such as dengue fever, foot and mouth disease, meningococcal meningitis and dangerous infectious diseases.
The official letter also stated that in the course of implementation, if any special situation happens, hospitals should report to the Ministry of Health for timely handling.
According to forecasts of the National Hydrological Forecast Centre, this summer, the average temperature in the country has tended to be higher than the average temperature in recent years.
Former knitting company general director prosecuted for fraud
Lê Thành Công (right) will be prosecuted for charges of abusing position and power while on duty.
The Police Investigation Agency under the Ministry of Public Security on Monday announced it had launched legal proceedings against Lê Thành Công, former general director of Đông Phương Knitting Company, for “abuse of position and power while on duty”.
Congestion concern raised over new bus station
Bui Danh Lien, deputy head of Hanoi Transport Association
Bui Danh Lien, deputy head of Hanoi Transport Association has expressed concerns over traffic congestion after the local authorities proposed to build Yen So Bus Station inside the city instead of the suburbs.
Hanoi People’s Committee has submitted the report about bus station and parking lot planning to 2030 with a view to 2050. Inter-provincial bus stations will be built or relocated to along main roads to the city, connecting to Ring Road 4.
However, in the planning, Hanoi authorities issued building permit to the 3.2-hectare Yen So Bus Station which will be located near Yen So Park and only 1km away from Nuoc Ngam Station.
Lien appreciated the move to relocate bus stations to the suburbs and the Yen So Station Project has many shortcomings.
“I’m afraid that with rapid urbanisation rate, this station will soon be surrounded by residential areas in just one to two years. It’s also incomprehensible that this station is permitted to operate for 50 years when all stations must be moved out of the city as of 2030 in accordance with the plan,” he said.
Lien said congestion would be unavoidable since both Giap Bat and Nuoc Ngam stations were nearby. He urged Hanoi authorities to reconsider the plan.
“Since the project is already approved, I think we can convert it into a truck terminal and when all stations are ordered to move out of the city, it must be moved out too in order to ensure fair play and healthy competition,” he said.
Yen So Station is supposed to serve both passenger buses and trucks with capacity to accommodate 800-1,000 buses and 200 trucks a day.
Vietnamese firm proposes building 7km cable car link in Hoi An
A Vietnamese conglomerate has put forward a plan to build a cable car connecting the tourist city of Hoi An and another district in the central province of Quang Nam, but it is facing the first challenge of large occupation.
The firm, known only as NVN, is based Quang Nam, which borders Da Nang City to the north.
NVN has suggested the idea of building a cable car link from Thanh Ha Ward in Hoi An City, flying over the Thu Bon River, an iconic waterway in the famed ancient town, and ending in Duy Nghia Village of Duy Xuyen District in Quang Nam.
The fastest route to travel between the two destinations now is 13 kilometers in length, while the cable car will carry passengers over a shorter aerial route of seven kilometers.
Le Van Vinh, general director of NVN, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper about the proposal.
The seven-kilometer project is projected to occupy a space of greater than 100 hectares, equal to one square kilometer, and cost around VND2.1 trillion (US$92.4 million), according to NVN.
NVN aims to use the cable car system, said Vinh, for both tourism and transport purposes.
“NVN hopes that the cable link project will create a new tourism service, where tourists will sit in the cabins while admiring the Thu Bon River and the mounds beneath during the journey,” Vinh said.
The company has had a meeting with the Hoi An City People’s Committee to present about the project, according to Vinh.
However, Chairman of the People’s Committee Nguyen Van Dung was concerned that the project would occupy a large area of agricultural land.
“Such an area is too large. It is challenging to be launched since agricultural land acquisition will be very difficult,” Dung said.
“We suggest NVN work with specific agencies and authorities of the wards where the project is to be developed in order to recalculate and reduce the area of impact,” the chairman advised.
Lao Cai police seize hundreds of bricks of heroin
Nearly 600 bricks of heroin, 350,000 ecstasy pills and a large volume of methamphetamine have been seized over the past one and a half years in the northern province of Lao Cai.
Local police have conducted investigations into 245 cases of drug trafficking, captured 294 suspects and prosecuted 232 cases with 290 criminals detained as a result.
The number of drug trafficking cases which lead to arrests and prosecutions are rapidly increasing in the province, showing that traffickers take advantage of the border province to transport drugs to a third country.
Methamphetamine was smuggled from China using many sophisticated methods, making the work to prevent and fight drug trafficking more difficult according to the local law enforcement force.
Flood victims continue receiving relief
The Vietnam Red Cross Society (VNRC) on July 4 received emergency aid from both domestic and foreign individuals and organisations to help households affected by the recent flood in the northern mountainous localities.
The assistance came from Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong with 100,000 CNY (15,143 USD), the Red Cross Society of China with 50,000 USD, and the Chinese Business Association in Vietnam with 110,000 USD.
The VNRC also received 10 million VND (440 USD) from the Government Office’s trade union.
Many organisations and individuals nationwide have given assistance to locals in flood-striken areas so that they can stabilise their lives and recover production.
Earlier, the VNRC provided emergency aid worth over 1.12 billion VND (49,280 USD) to households hard hit by recent floods in Lai Chau and Ha Giang provinces.
VNRC Vice President Nguyen Quoc Hung said that his organisation will carry out various activities to raise local people’s awareness of measures to respond to natural disasters, and the flood victims will receive support via VNRC’s programmes and projects.
Flash floods and landslides triggered by downpours in June had left 23 dead and 10 missing in the northern mountainous provinces, mainly in Lai Chau and Ha Giang, as of 7:00 on June 28.
Of the victims, 16 deaths and 9 missing victims were in Lai Chau province, five deaths in Ha Giang, one death each in Quang Ninh and Lao Cai, and one missing person in Dien Bien, reported the Standing Office of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.
Floods also pulled down or swept away 161 houses, damaged 958 homes and submerged 1,800 others.
In addition, more than 1,500 hectares of rice and crops were inundated or destroyed, while nearly 600 hectares of aquaculture were damaged and 738 cattle heads and over 13,800 poultry killed.
Total damage was estimated at nearly 500 billion VND (around 21.8 million USD).
Books on Vietnam-Laos relations introduced to readers
Cover of a book on Vietnam-Laos special relations (Source: mic.gov.vn)
A set of books on Vietnam-Laos special relations has been introduced to the public by the Information and Communications Publishing House.
The set contains 11 books which give readers an insight into Laos as well as its people, socio-economic situation and culture.
The books also analyse the relationship between Vietnam and Laos in the past, at present, as well as future prospects.
The set of books is expected to realise the guideline and foreign policy of the Vietnamese Party and State in further consolidating and developing the special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos as recommended by late President Ho Chi Minh.
The books were compiled in 2017 when the two countries celebrated 40 years since they signed a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (July 18), and the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties (September 5).
The Vietnam-Laos relations were founded by late Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh and his Lao counterpart Kaysone Phomvihane and have been nurtured by generations of leaders and people of the two countries over the past more than seven decades, becoming a valuable treasure of the two nations.
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