The Long-Run Impacts of Flood Experiences on Welfare and Flood Recovery in Vietnam

14:00 Wednesday 29 May


Room S11


Paul Hudson (Germany) 1; Philip Bubeck (Germany) 1

1 - University of Potsdam

Vietnam is repeatedly affected by flooding, which can have large impacts. For example, in 1999 a flood killed 780 people and caused damage worth US$364 million. In addition to the chronic stress and major shocks caused by flood hazards a range of societal factors undermine the resilience of already vulnerable groups of society such as poor and women. These groups lack the capacity to absorb and to bounce back from the impacts of flooding leading to large long-term social impacts. These differences between societal groups need to be understood and accounted for in disaster risk management strategies.

Our objective is to identify the long-run impacts of flooding on welfare as well as self-stated flood recovery. Through this we aim to understand what helps those affected to overcome the shock of flood events and become more resilient.

We conduct a comprehensive assessment of the environmental, social, and cultural factors influencing individual flood resilience across genders in coastal and urban communities in Thua Thien Hue. This is achieved via a mediation style regression analysis of 1010 survey respondents to connect welfare and self-stated recovery to a range of factors. We conduct this analysis with a strong gender lens by investigating these relationships across male and female respondents.

We find that floods have a significant and long-term impact on individual welfare, particularly of women. We find that male respondents tended to recover their welfare losses by around 80% within 5 years while female respondents were associated with a welfare recovery of around 70%. A monetization of these impacts is equal to about 40% to 90% of annual income for female respondents. The corresponding value for males is 30% to 60% of annual income.

Therefore, our study concludes that the intangible impacts of flood risk are important (across genders) and need to be integrated into flood (or climate) risk assessments to develop more socially appropriate management strategies. The construction of gender inclusive flood risk management policies is needed as there is a noticeable gender gap in flood resilience, which must be closed to build a more flood-resilient society. One avenue to strengthen the flood resilience of flood-prone areas is through ecosystem-based adaptation which was found to have a positive link with welfare through many different ecosystem services. Moreover, by establishing community based mechanisms that support long-term flood recovery we can more greatly empower the community to undertake further adaptive action.