"I want to fix this house. The roof is almost broken so we have to use canvas to cover it. But when there are strong winds, we're scared that the roof will just come off. In addition, it leaks when it rains". This is the heartfelt dream of 34 year old Vu Thi Thanh Hoa living in Group36, Phuc Tan Ward, Danang city. At the moment, six people in her family are bundled together in a less than 10 square meter room. The front of the house is covered by wooden boards and piles of bricks. There is no toilet and people have a shower in a rough outhouse next to their.
This was just one insight into the lives of local people who UN-Habitat staff faced during the consultations with the urban poor in Danang and Hanoi in January 2012. UN-Habitat met local residents, People's Committee officials and women's union staff to find about the poverty status of each ward. Interviews with the urban poor working as street vendors, porters, migrant workers and cleaners allowed better understanding of the lives, difficulties, opportunities and dreams and the world they want after 2015.
27-year old Vu Thi Phuong followed her mother from Hu.ng Yen Province to Hanoi three years ago. Every day she works as a shop assistant at a clothing shop. Mother and daughter alike save money. Phuong, the daughter, said the money is sent home to her unemployed father and younger brother. "Now I want to continue my studies and after that I'll be able to get a good job to support my family," she said.
It isn't far from Danang city centre, but 48 year old Huynh Thi Loi has to jump on the train to Thua Thien - Hue Province to collect firewood. If she can't go to Hue, she will go to the coast to collect fish. Her daily income is about 50,000 dong for her and two children to live on. "I just want to have six pigs, 20 chickens and 10 ducks to breed to escape poverty', she said.
Nguyen Thi Chuoc's family moved to Thanh Khe Tay Ward four years ago but they are only eligible for temporarily registration and are not recognized as permanent residents. That is why her family fails to qualify for poor family status that would make them able to receive subsidies, preferential treatment or qualify health care. In addition, the land that she has bought is not legally recognised, so she does not have the "red book" (land use certificate). "In the next three years, I hope we can shift our family registration officially to Thanh Khe Tay Ward. I also hope my second daughter can attend vocational training. Then she could borrow money to open a hair dresser shop", Chuoc wished.
"Through consultations in Danang and Hanoi, we can see that there are big differences between rural and urban poverty. In urban areas, incomes are higher but unstable, and not enough to maintain adequate living standard because the living cost in cities are much higher than in rural areas. In addition, there are flows of migrants from the countryside to urban areas which is rapidly increasing and deepening the urban poverty. These migrants normally have no access to land, no "red book", nor official family registration or stable assets, and this blocks them from accessing financial resources or basic services" Nguyen Quang, UN-Habitat Programme Manager said.
"When I listen to the dreams of the poor, like a family with father, mother and children, or dream to attend vocational training, dream to work as a sanitation worker, they left me touched. Their dreams are not impossible, and are related to their daily lives, and spring from the difficulties that they are facing every day. Through their dreams we can see that having a stable job is one of their biggest concerns and should be one of our biggest concerns " said Nguyen Quy Binh, UN-Habitat Programme Advisor.
The UN's consultations with the urban poor in Danang and Hanoi were part of a series of consultations being conducted by the UN in Viet Nam to ask people about the world they want and what they think about what the new development framework should look like after 2015 when the current Millennium Development Goals expire. The eight groups of people consulted consist ethnic minorities, the urban and rural poor, people with disabilities, people living with HIV, young people, the elderly and the private sector.