Improving flood protection and drainage in medium-sized coastal towns and cities to help them adapt to climate change

Project description

Title: Improving flood protection and drainage in medium-sized coastal cities to help them adapt to climate change
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Construction (MoC)
Overall term: 2012 to 2017


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified Viet Nam as one of the countries that is most severely affected by climate change. The coastal towns and cities of Viet Nam are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events, rising sea levels and high groundwater levels. At-risk areas are primarily populated by poorer communities who are often badly affected by the impacts of these events. Heavy rainfall is becoming increasingly common and the resultant floods damage and destroy the local infrastructure. In addition, high water levels mean that the flow of water through the sewerage system is reversed, causing untreated wastewater to be released, which endangers people and the environment. Although several international projects in the field of adaptation to climate change are being implemented in the major cities, medium-sized towns and cities have so far been neglected. Neither national legislation nor the urban and land use programmes run by the relevant municipal, provincial and national authorities adequately address the altered hydrological and meteorological conditions. No measures have so far been taken to make the infrastructure more resilient to climate change.


Public institutions and communities have greater skills, resources and capacity to adapt to more frequent and severe urban flooding in the wake of climate change.


The project supports the inclusion of climate change impacts in urban drainage planning and in disaster preparedness and prevention.

The Government is advised on improving urban drainage policy in close coordination with the Ministry of Construction. Climate change projections are systematically taken into account in this work.

The project provides policy advice in five provinces: Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa, Quang Ngai and Soc Trang. It works closely with the provinces of Phu Yen, Binh Dinh and Soc Trang to mainstream adaptation to climate change in urban drainage planning. Legislative loopholes are identified, benefiting activities at national level and in other provinces.

The project focuses on the provinces of Phu Yen and Binh Dinh, where it works to improve disaster prevention by supporting the establishment of early-warning systems and helping to improve existing systems. The project is working in partnership with the German Red Cross and the Viet Nam Red Cross Society so as to be able to directly reach people living in especially vulnerable parts of the provincial capitals. Training is provided on disaster preparedness and disaster response to teach the population how to cope better with flooding events. The project is also working with the competent authorities to review and upgrade organisational procedures for contingency planning.

Training and policy dialogue in the five provinces and at national level round off these joint activities. Communication between national authorities and provincial authorities is to also be improved.


Authorities in the project provinces have become more aware that limiting themselves to traditional infrastructure solutions is not expedient when adapting to climate change. The project partners are therefore working on sustainable strategies, for instance to reduce soil sealing or create parks and green space that also serve to retain water.

Task forces in Tuy Hoa and Quy Nhon are developing guidelines on disaster prevention for the competent authorities. A further task force is examining the sustainability of early-warning systems.

The Ministry of Construction is currently addressing loopholes in legislation governing urban drainage and in taking account of the impacts of climate Change.