Japan gives aid to forest-fire victims

Japangives aid to forest-fire victims

13 March 2008

published by http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn

Ca Mau, Viet Nam — Communities hit by forest fires in the southernmostprovince of Ca Mau are getting 905 million yen (US$8.7 million) innon-refundable aid from the Japanese Government to help rebuild their lives.

The Japanese project in the U Minh Ha area includes constructing 32km ofroads, 13km of irrigation canals, five health care stations and five primaryschools. The plan will also improve 448ha of forestry land and set up 12observation stations to help protect the area against future fires.

Japanese Ambassador to Viet Nam, Sakaba Mitsuo, said he hoped the projectwould help boost local living standards. “Via such operations, I hopefriendship ties between Japan and Viet Nam will continue to develop,” hesaid.

Although the dry season poses big risks of forest fires in U Minh Ha,flooding during the rainy season can damage forestry products, which are localpeople’s main means of support. The area lacks basic infrastructure, like goodroads, schools and health care stations.

In March 2002, a massive fire destroyed around 6,000ha of forest, seriouslyimpacting the local economy.

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