After the Storm. Natural Disasters and Development in Vietnam
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This thesis describes the many processes which happen when a natural disaster occurs. Fieldwork was done in Ben Tre province, one year after a typhoon had hit the coastal province in the Mekong Delta in Southern Vietnam. During the 4 ½ months in the region, I talked to the many people and organisations whom have been affected. I found out that many people were not ready for the storm, but the post-disaster work had gone well, with everyone pitching in to help one another. This made me aware of the strong coping mechanism in the Vietnamese people, which I explore against the many challenges they have been put up against throughout the years, such as the Vietnam War, the Communist state, and modernity.Vietnam has a very unique history filled with conflict, and the thesis also explores how this history still affects people today. Being a Communist state, the thesis examines how the people deal with bureaucracy and state authority in their daily lives. Looking at the many challenges of the state is also of interest, as Vietnam is a developing country with many problems to solve, including rural poverty, education and population growth reduction.Natural disasters are but one of these challenges, which the Vietnamese people took with an impressive stride. The thesis explores how disasters affect the globe as a whole. Today, most scientists state that natural disasters are connected to climate change, which again is connected to globalisation, world industry and pollution. The thesis looks at how these global ideas have real consequences on the local level, through natural disasters and development projects. Because natural disasters are such encompassing events, every instance and organisation must cooperate to overcome the situation, with most developing countries having to call for international assistance from world community. The thesis looks at the details of disaster prevention and disaster management, to see how this might be improved.