“If the flood lasted just one more day, we would have had nothing to eat"
Sheltering in the attic, rationing rice and rainwater, Mai Thi Tung could only hope the floodwater would soon recede.
“If the flood lasted just one more day, we would have had nothing to eat", said Tung, a 44-year-old mother of five who saw almost all their belongings swept away during unprecedented flooding in her village in Vietnam.
In October 2016, three tropical storms (including two typhoons) caused heavy rain and widespread flooding in Vietnam over a one-week period. More than 30 people died because of the storms, and approximately 650,000 people were affected, including 182,000 children, in five central provinces.
Tung, the primary breadwinner in the household because her husband is ill and unable to work, earns a living primarily by fishing but also selling firewood she collects in the forest.
Without clothes, fishing tools and the children's school supplies, restarting their livelihoods was a difficult undertaking.
Some of her children received textbooks and clothes from the school, and the family received some food and 1 million Vietnamese dollars (the equivalent of $60 CAD) from an initial relief project.
What truly made the difference in Tung’s recovery from this disaster was the $120 CAD her family received from Save the Children’s relief project, funded by the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund.
She used this cash to buy fishing tools and pay off the second semester school fees of her children.
"Now that my children can go to school and I have my fishing tools, we will try our best co get over this difficult period and resume our normal life". Tung said.
Tung's family is one of 957 households in four affected communes who were supported in this manner.