When Trin Gim first started her biogas digester business, she raised many eyebrows. In the little district of Ung Hoa, located south of Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, villagers were not accustomed to seeing a woman take the reins of a business. But eight years later, Trin Gim has achieved not only financial success,but has played a role in a larger fight in Viet Nam against the devastating impacts of climate change.

Ung Hoa is a lush pastoral paradise, where pig farms are a popular feature in most households. Waste from the pigs, usually feces and urine, can be converted into combustible methane gas with a biogas digester. That gas can be used as energy for cooking and household needs. Trin was initially involved in installing these digesters in homes but has since expanded her skillset.

On an average day, she is busy convincing potential customers of the benefits of a digester. Once households are on board, she negotiates a price and payment schedule, assesses the feasibility and size of the biogas plant, carts the required material to the house and, together with her team, installs the biogas plant.

With eight people in her employ, Trin has now installed about 3,000 biogas plants across 7 districts. 

Photo by Annette Wallgren

Read more: Pig pens power a solution to climate change in Vietnam


The country finds itself increasingly on the disaster front line as storms become more erratic and intense

The floods came early this year in Tua Sin Chai, a remote village in Vietnam’s northern highlands. In June, heavy rainfall unleashed landslides that tumbled through this hillside village, killing a family of four.

Giang Hong Ky lost his son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren when the tide of earth and rocks cascaded down the hillside. The 65-year-old has spent his entire lifetime here, but he said it’s the first time a landslide like this reached his village.

“My parents’ generation, my generation, and now my children’s have all been living in this village,” Ky said. “But we have never seen anything like that.”

Giang Hong Ky lost four family members when a landslide barrelled into his village in Lai Chau Province in June.

Read more: In Vietnam, early-season floods warn of climate change risks to come


Hanoi Reuters1

HANOI – Famed for ancient pagodas, colonial architecture and delicious pho noodle soup, Vietnam’s capital of Hanoi has another, albeit dubious, distinction: air pollution.

The city of 7.7 million, where pollution last year was four times higher than the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers acceptable, is one of several Asian cities battling emissions from vehicles and industrial activity.

 About 7 million people die globally each year from exposure to pollution that brings diseases such as stroke and heart diseases, the WHO said in May.

Pollution is a political risk for Communist-ruled Vietnam, which has witnessed environmental protests to save trees or demonstrate against a steel firm accused of polluting the sea.

Concern about air quality can even be a lucrative business opportunity.

Read more: Bikes out, trees in: Hanoi tackles air pollution woes


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