Dam-induced displacement and resettlement in Vietnam: The risk of impoverishment and applied adaptation strategies
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This research focuses on the risks that resettled and displaced communities are vulnerable to and the adaptation strategies they apply. Based on the Impoverishment Risk and Reconstruction model by Cernea (2000), 6 risks are identified that could lead to impoverishment. In addition, this research emphasizes the role of people as active participants on their livelihood outcomes, through the adaptation strategies they apply. To measure this exposure, this research was conducted in Bo Hon village in Thua Thien Hue province. This community was resettled in 2006, after the construction of Binh Dien hydropower dam. Through surveys and interviews, data on the situation before and after resettlement was collected. In addition, a comparative analysis between Bo Hon and Kon Tôm village is provided in order to broaden the understanding of risks and adaptation of resettled communities. The results of this research revealed that both inhabitants of Bo Hon and Kon Tôm were exposed to risks that caused impoverishment. However, the severity of their situation varied strongly. Households in Bo Hon applied several adaptation strategies, which decreased the impact of resettlement. The extent to which the community could access livelihood capital led to the differentiation in the application of adaptation strategies. This enabled residents of Bo Hon to better cope with the transition from pre- to post-resettlement. Nevertheless, the living standards before resettlement were not attained.