Flooding Vulnerability Assessment

03_flood_area Vulnerability assessment of livelihoods in Lower Mekong Basin: Adaptation options for enhancing capacity of people living in the most vulnerable flood-prone areas in Cambodia and Vietnam
Millions of people living in the Lower Mekong Basin, especially people living in the flood-prone areas between Cambodia and Vietnam, are among the poorest and most vulnerable to flood…

Source: sumernet.org

RESEARCH SUMMARY AND COVER PAGE

1.1 Title of the research project

Vulnerability assessment of livelihoods in Lower Mekong Basin: Adaptation options for enhancing capacity of people living in the most vulnerable flood-prone areas in Cambodia and Vietnam

1.2 Executive Summary

Millions of people living in the Lower Mekong Basin, especially people living in the flood-prone areas between Cambodia and Vietnam, are among the poorest and most vulnerable to flood because more serious flood and low resilience capacity in coping with floods. Current management interventions fail to recognize the diversity of people livelihoods in the flood zones, the resilience capacity to cope with flood, and inadequate information on the impact of flood situations. By looking at the holistic way and taking into account global climate change that affecting flood situations, this project will conduct an in-depth assessments of livelihood vulnerability at the household and community levels to exploring options that can catalyze policy actions to enhance adaptive capacity of flood and climate vulnerable communities at two flood-prone sites in Lower Mekong Basin: Ta Keo (Cambodia) and An Giang (Vietnam).

The project has three specific objectives:

  1. To enhance understanding of flood situations and their  impacts on agricultural production systems (rice, fish) in the flood-prone areas of two provinces in Cambodia and Vietnam
  2. To investigate the vulnerability to floods of people livelihoods in the flood-prone areas of the two study sites in Cambodia and Vietnam
  3. To understand the resilience capacity and to find out adaptation options of people affected by flood to facilitate them to cope with flood and abrupt changes in their lifestyle

The outputs of the project will be: (1) Credible information and knowledge explaining the impact of regional and community level vulnerability to floods and climate change on agricultural production systems; (2) Provide options for improving people livelihoods and enhancing resilience capacity in coping with flood and climate adaptation at local/community level; and (3) Flood and climate adaptation policy brief targeted at policy influencer(s) and policy maker(s) in Cambodia and Vietnam. This research adopts the Sustainable livelihood framework (SLF) conceptual as a major methodology with combination of different tools and methods for gathering and analyzing data. To ensure immediate impact, the project will share and promote research outputs through workshops, formal and informal contacts with boundary partners, taking advantage of networking, publication of project outputs (technical paper). The involvement of policy-making authorities at the district, provincial during project implementing that facilitates the conversion of project outputs into regulations, policies, and that contributes to improve rural livelihoods and poverty reduction.

1.3 Project Duration

12 months

1.4 Partnering institutions

(1)  Cambodia National Mekong Committee
(2)  Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
(3)  Mekong Delta Development Research Institute, Can Tho University, Vietnam

1.5 Countries covered

(1) Cambodia
(2) Vietnam

1.6 Total project budget (Request from Sumernet and Counterpart contribution)

Total project budget:  US$ 58,560
in which, request from Sumernet: US$ 48,560
Counterpart contribution: US$ 10,000

1.7 Budget requested from Sumernet

Total: US$ 48,560

1.8 Contact Details (Name, address, email and phone number of primary contact person)

Contact person: Dr. Nguyen Duy Can, 3/2 Street, Campus 2, Cantho Univ., Ninh Kieu district, Can Tho City, Vietnam;
Email: ndcan@ctu.edu.vn; Fax: +84-7103 831270; Mobile: 0918670578


Section 2: RESEARCH DESCRIPTION

2.1 Vision and Mission

About 60 million people live in the Lower Mekong Basin, of which Cambodia constitutes 25% and the Vietnamese Mekong Delta shares 33% of the total basin’s population (MRC, 2004). There are about 4 million hectares in Cambodia and 2.7 million hectares in Viet Nam are subjected to flood-prone areas (MRC, 2006). Flooding is an integral part of nature of the Mekong River system. Flood brings benefits to LMB people as it provides abundant aquatic and fishery resources, makes better soil fertility, but severe flood poses a major threat to people’s lives and properties through destructive impacts on infrastructure and environment as well as disturbance to livelihood activities of people living in flood-prone areas, especially causing vulnerable to rural poor people (Sanh and Can, 2008).

The LMB is considered prone to flood hazards, which would be affected by global climate variability. Climate factors that influence the vulnerabilities include sea-level rise (affecting flooding patterns), tropical storms and droughts, flood water flow from upstream and flooding patterns. Risks of all these factors dramatically impact natural systems, economy and hence inhabitants’ livelihoods, in particular of the most vulnerable flood zones. According to some predictions, negative impacts of flood hazards would be more severe in flood-prone areas, where ecosystems are underdevelopment, agriculture and people’s livelihood very much depend on the flooding regimes of the Mekong river.

During the last two decades, many efforts from the government to develop irrigation or dike systems to control flood for rice production and to mitigate flood damage, but less efforts to resilience, adaptive capacity local networks and land use systems, as well as improve people’s livelihood in flood-prone areas have been made, while frequency and magnitude of climate variability, severe flood and land use intensity are growing. These factors lead to increase the vulnerability of natural and human systems, and threaten to amplify the dangers. Current management interventions fail to recognize the diversity of people livelihoods in the flood zones, the resilience capacity to cope with flood, and inadequate information on the impact of flood situations.

Therefore, it is needed for in-depth assessments of livelihood vulnerability at the household and community levels to exploring options that can catalyze policy actions to enhance adaptive capacity of flood and climate vulnerable communities in Lower Mekong Basin (Cambodia and Vietnam). This is in line with several Sumernet strategic research priorities that are included as ecosystem services, transboundary issues, and poverty and livelihoods.

Vision:
As a whole, this research project vision is to not only assessment of vulnerability but also strengthening people have capacity and knowledge to deal with the future floods and plausible change, improvement of sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction in the poor and vulnerable people in the flood-prone areas in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Mission:
By using the most appropriate approach and methods, the project focusses on investigating current impacts as well as the potential impacts of floods due to climate change in agricultural production systems; investigating the vulnerability of livelihoods of people living in the flood-prone areas of the two study areas in Cambodia and Vietnam; launching several assessment, and finding out adaptation options of people affected by flood to facilitate them to cope with flood and abrupt changes in their lifestyle. All these come up with the project mission is to build the resilience of vulnerable people in the communities in the flood-prone areas, and to strengthen adaptive capacity and knowledge of the lower Mekong Basin vulnerable people and the poor.

2.2 Boundary Partners

In this project, the most important boundary partners are the Committee for Storm and Flood Control (CSFC) (in the case of Vietnam) and the Committee for Disaster Management (CDM) (in the case of Cambodia) at different levels (national, provincial, district and commune levels). As the project setup for study site is in  An Giang Province (Vietnam) and Takeo Province (Cambodia), thus the direct partners at this level are provincial CSFC and provincial CDM. There are several line Ministries involving in the CFSC or CDM at national level, and it is the same for lower levels. However, the core boundary  partners whom may contribute or benefit from this project are as  following:

Direct boundary partners:
Vietnam: Provincial Committee for Floods and Storm Control (PCFSC), which are including Department of Agriculture, Department of Water Resources, Department of Fishery,  Department of Planning & Investment, Department of Education, Department of Rural Development, and Department of Environment; District Committee for Floods and storm control (DCFSC) Village Committee for Floods and storm control (VCFSC).
Cambodia: Provincial Committee for Disaster Management (PCDM), which are including Department of Water Resources and Meteorology, Department of Environment, Department of Agriculture, Fishery Cantonment, Department of Rural Development, Department of Planning, Department of education; District Committee for Disaster Management (DCDM) and Commune Committee for Disaster Management (CCDM).

Coordination Institutes:
Vietnam: Mekong Delta Development Research Institute (MDI) of Cantho University
Cambodia: Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia National Mekong Committee

Policy implementer/decision maker:
Vietnam: Local authorities, National Committee for flood and storm control (NCFSC) includes Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Education and Training, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor-Invalids and Social Works, and Committee of Climate Change and Adaptation, Vietnam National Mekong Committee.
Cambodia: Local authorities, National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) includes Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, Ministry of Agricultural Forestry and Fishery, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Ministry of Education Youth and Sports, Cambodian Red Cross and Committee of Climate Change and Adaptation.

Regional & International organizations:
Sumernet, IWMI, Mekong River Commission, International development agencies (includes ADB, World Bank)

2.3 Proposal development process

This proposal was prepared in two stages. In the first stage, a two-page concept note was submitted to the Sumernet during which initial communication between research partners in Vietnam and Cambodia was established. After the Sumernet accepted the concept note, more key partners were consulted in the process of write-up of the full proposal. Sumernet assigned Dr Chu Thai Hoanh as the mentor for this project who initially met with the project leader, Dr Can, to discuss concept reviewer’s comments and advise on the areas for improvements. Following this, there was a full proposal development workshop held in Phnom Penh from 30th August to 2nd September 2010. This workshop was to draft a preliminary proposal based on full proposal development guideline and the M&E requirement of Sumernet.  The workshop was attended by Dr Nguyen Duy Can (Can Tho University), Mr Khom Sok, Mr Seak Sophat, Mr Chanthy Sam, Dr Sabita Thapa and Ms. Orn-Uma Polpanich. The outcome of the workshop was a first-draft of the proposal which consisted of agreed outcomes, boundary partners, outputs, risk management strategy and a logframe. About half day discussion was held for refining the methodology of the project. This preliminary draft was further developed through individual consultation with relevant stakeholders both at community and sub-national level in Vietnam and Cambodia. As provided by the project scope, only a limited national level consultation with policy makers could be conducted for the development of the proposal. However, in Cambodia, the research partnership with National Mekong Committee (Mr Khom Sok) provides opportunity for greater interactions with decision-makers and Government agencies even during the project implementation phase.

2.4 Purpose, goals and objectives

The goal of the project is to facilitate greater understanding of flood and climate vulnerability to guide decisions for sustainable development and poverty reduction.

The purpose of the project is to make available up-to-date information and knowledge on flood vulnerability and associated climate change  impacts on people’s livelihoods in Lower Mekong Basin

The objectives of the project are as below:

  1. To enhance understanding of flood situations and uncertain flood due to climate change, and their  impact on agricultural production systems (rice, fish) in the flood-prone areas of two provinces in Cambodia and Vietnam
  2. To investigate the vulnerability to floods of people livelihoods in the flood-prone areas of the two study sites  in Cambodia and Vietnam
  3. To understand the resilience capacity and to find out adaptation options of people affected by flood to facilitate them to cope with flood and abrupt changes in their lifestyle

2.5 Methodology

This research adopts the Sustainable livelihood framework (SLF) conceptual as a major methodology with combination of different tools and methods for gathering and analyzing data, these comprise method of agro-ecological analysis, analysis of historical long-term data of agricultural dynamics and climatic dynamics (based on statistic data), and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) tools for vulnerability assessment. The BBC framework (Birkmann, 2006) is also used to assess vulnerability of different social groups and local communities to flood.

The SLF and its site specific application in the flood prone area, provide the key elements for investigation, encompassing five livelihood assets (natural, human, financial, social and physical capitals), the vulnerability context (shocks, trends and seasonality), and the influence of transforming structure and processes for  the livelihood strategies and their livelihood outcomes (Fig. 1)

The main study site in Vietnam is An Giang Province. In Cambodia, the study focuses on Takeo Province, which is neighboring with An Giang and most vulnerable to flood damages.

This project will be implemented by the Can Tho University Team in collaboration with the Cambodia Team, including Royal University of Phnom Penh and Cambodia National Mekong Committee.

Fig. 1 Sustainable livelihood framework (Source: DFID, 1999)

In the project setup, the SLF also provide a room for combination of multiple methods for data collection and analysis. The project will accomplish its objectives by applying appropriate tools and methods as presented in Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 The SLF and combination of different methods in gathering data

Objective 1: To enhance understanding of flood situations and uncertain flood due to climate change, and their  impact on agricultural production systems (rice, fish) in the flood-prone areas of two provinces in Cambodia and Vietnam

Understanding of flood situation and its impacts on agricultural production systems at current also uncertain flood due to climate change is essential for preparedness and reducing damages and losses. This investigation provides an understanding of vulnerability context (shocks, trends, seasonality) in the SLF regarding to flood situation. Investigation will be carried out in the study area of two provinces, classified villages/communes according to their ecosystem. Within each commune, different household groups (poor, medium, rich) will be surveyed. In each country, Vietnam and Cambodia, field surveys will be carried out in 6 communes of two provinces (3 communes for each province). We will conduct detailed surveys specifically investigating the impacts of flood on agricultural production systems (with emphasized on rice, fish). The details of methods to be used encompassing:

  • The core PRA tools such as timeline analysis, seasonal calendar, and agro-ecosystem zoning will be used to gathering data of production levels of rice, fish; flood level; rain period; loan; relief; labor; job opportunities; etc. These categories will capture vulnerability with regard to shocks, trends and seasonality under flood conditions.
  • Use of secondary data related to flood and study areas such as available articles, reports, papers related to flood; statistic data on production, flood damages from 2000-2010; meteorological data and hydrological data.
  • Use of current research results on climate change as a basic for assessing potential impacts due to climate change in agricultural production systems.

Objective 2: To investigate the vulnerability to floods of people livelihoods in the flood-prone areas of the two study sites  in Cambodia and Vietnam

This project will conduct an impact assessment of livelihood vulnerability and investigate the resilience capacity of rural people in the flood prone areas. Participatory rural appraisal (PRA) surveys will be carried out in two study areas in Vietnam and Cambodia. Within each commune, selected household groups will be surveyed, using BBC-Framework (Birkmann, 2006) and the Sustainable Livelihood Framework (DFID, 2000) for the assessment. The SLF with combination of different tools is showed in Fig. 2.

In this research, the SLF can be seen as a framework for vulnerability assessment (Birkmann, 2006). Therefore, the key elements for investigation are five livelihood assets (natural, human, financial, social and physical capitals), the vulnerability context (shocks, trends and seasonality), and the influence of transforming structure and processes for  the livelihood strategies and their livelihood outcomes.

In this objective, we investigate how people in the flood–prone areas access to and use of their livelihood assets as they are often influenced by the vulnerability context (food situations), and by policies, institutions and processes. We also use the certain tools to gather data such as timeline, calendar chart, SWOT, and BBC framework (Fig. 2).

  • Use of BBC framework to assess the vulnerability of different social groups (household groups) and local communities as influence by shocks, trends, seasonality in the flood-prone area. Two core techniques of BBC framework will be used such as questionnaire based and census data based.
  • We also use of SWOT, Venn diagram, secondary data and open questionnaire and semi-structured interview to assess policies, institutions and processes.
  • For investigation of livelihood assets, we look at the number of indicators as showed in Table 1.

Table 1  Indicators will be used in analysis of farmers’ livelihoods

Livelihood Asset Investigate  in:
Natural capital Land ownership; total size of land holding; no. of land parcels; cropping patterns; rice production; non-rice crop production; aquaculture production; capture fisheries catch and seasonality;…
Financial capital Total net HH income; contribution to total HH income from rice, fish, other aquaculture, livestock, employment, capture fisheries; remittances from relatives and other funds
Physical capital Access to TV, radio, rowing boat, motorboat, tiller/pump/thresher, type of house, safer place
Human capital Workers available per HH; age of HH head; % of female-headed HH; main occupation of HH heads
Social capital Network, member of any organizations, trust, ….

 

Objective 3: To understand the resilience capacity and to find out adaptation options of people affected by flood to facilitate them to cope with flood and abrupt changes in their lifestyle
The SLF consists of two major terms, sustainability and livelihoods, and the term sustainability is often linked to the ability to cope with and recover from stresses and shocks (DFID, 2000; Birkmann, 2006). By analyzing collected data and analysis from objective (1) and (2), we will find out the resilience capacity of rural people to cope with flood, and to seek for adaptation options to uncertain flood of local people in the flood-prone areas.  From these, we will also prepare recommendations and relevant knowledge to improve people’s livelihoods and adaptive strategies to flood and climate variability impacts for the research areas of Vietnam and Cambodia.

The major elements and exercises to be analysed to accomplish this objective as follows:

  • Ability to cope with flood situations of different social groups (how flood-affected people cope with the situations: networks, community-based organizations, relationships of trust and reciprocity, and access to wider institutions),
  • What policies, institutions and processes that support people in coping with flood situations, and this analysis will be done at different levels (provincial, district and commune) (e.g. financial supports from formal and informal organizations (loans and savings), access to information, interventions tools (safer place), resettlement, knowledge and early warning, etc.)
  • Conduct “scenario building” exercises to know how things will be changed in the next 30 or 50 years as climate change, then for each of those scenarios what need to change. Scenario building exercise with key stakeholders at community level  will be applied to generate future scenarios and back casting exercise will be done as to understand how that impacts community livelihoods.

2.6 Outcomes and outputs

The outcomes of the project are specifically targeted as the boundary partners. There are four levels of outcomes and each corresponds to the boundary partners as mentioned in section 2.2.

Outcome 1: Understanding of flood situation and uncertain flood affected by climate change and their impacts on agricultural production systems

Outcome 2: Understanding of adaptive capacity and resilience of flood prone communities  enhanced based on holistic knowledge to reduce risks from floods and potential CC impacts

Outcome 3: Knowledge and awareness are strengthened at local level to integrate flood and climate risk reduction in the decision making process

Outcome 4: Relevant information and knowledge on floods and climate change adaptation are available for enabling appropriate policy actions to address livelihoods of communities in flood-prone areas

Following are the expected outputs of the project:

Output 1. Credible information and knowledge explaining the impact of regional and community level vulnerability to floods and climate change on agricultural production systems

Output 2. Situational assessment report on community’s vulnerability to floods and climate change. Of particular importance is to provide options for improving people livelihoods and enhancing resilience capacity in coping with flood and climate adaptation at local/community level

Output 3. Climate & flood adaptation policy brief targeted at policy influencer(s) and policy maker(s).

Output 4. Guidebook (booklet) for integrating flood vulnerability and climate adaptation at local/community level, and a technical paper to be published in an international journal (after project).

2.7 Activity details

Workplan finalization by presenting in the Sumernet Week (in-kind contribution from research team)

Activity 1:
a. We will conduct the inception workshop to disseminate the research project at the two study sites and preparation for field surveys

b. Review the secondary data and previous research, official statistics on crop/fish areas and production will be used to gather information regarding to flood situations and its impacts on agricultural production

c. We also conduct field surveys at the two study sites to understand flood situations and its impacts on agricultural production systems (with emphasized on rice, fish): Conduct PRA exercises, interview farmers.

d. We will make use of current research results on climate change as a basic for  understanding flood change due to climate change, and will assess potential impacts of flood due to climate change in agricultural production systems based on the basic data of previous studied and local community perception.

e. Research team consultation meeting will be organized each time in each other’s country (research member is exchanged to conduct the field work; and mid-term meeting of project team will also be organized to share information regarding data synthesis and analysis)

Activity 2:
a. We will also assess the impact of flood situation and uncertain flood due to climate change on people livelihoods at two study sites, how the vulnerable people access to and use of their livelihood assets and income distribution and poverty. Changes in households economy and livelihood will be compared among villages/communities. This assessment will carry out together with Activity 1 (c).

b. Detailed survey will be conducted and use of BBC framework to assess the vulnerability of different social groups (household groups) and local communities as influence by flood situation. This investigation will help to understand vulnerability susceptibility and degree of expose (impact of flood on household and their assets; housing conditions and impact of flood; direct loss of possessions; income before and after flood; activities and job of household members; location of house (safer place) and place of work, etc.), and coping capacity (social networks, knowledge about flood and climate change, finance support, access to information, relocation of housing, infrastructure, early warning system, etc)

c. We will also make use of current research results on climate change as a basic to   indirect assess potential impacts of flood due to climate change in livelihoods of  different social groups.

Activity 3:
a. We will make use data collected from detailed survey in Activity 2 (b). The resilience capacity and options for coping with flood will be identified,

b. We will conduct  “scenario building” exercises to know how things will be changed in the next 30 or 50 years as climate change with key stakeholders at community level  to generate future scenarios to understand how that impacts community livelihoods,

Activity 4:
a. Write final report according to workplan,

b. We will synthesize the key issues (major findings) relevant to the research project for publishing in the form of the brief,

c. Produce the guidebook and prepare technical paper for publishing in the international journal (after project).

Available updates on this project
Update 1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: