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PM approves programme on unexploded ordnance

Update: April, 29/2010 - 11:04

HA NOI — The national action programme on bombs and mines, which runs until 2025, has been formally approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

According to Nguyen Trong Canh, director of the Technology Centre for Bomb and Mine Disposal, up to 800,000 tonnes of bombs, mines and other explosive devices left over from wars have killed or maimed more than 100,000 people and affected 6.6 million hectares of land.

The six worst-affected provinces are Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Ngai, where 10,529 people have been killed by bombs and mines.

Canh said unexploded ordnance (UXO) had harmed socio-economic development in the central provinces and reduced the agricultural land area.

The State annually invests hundreds of billions of dong on disposing UXO and supporting victims. However, it is estimated that just 20 per cent of bombs and mines have been disarmed, while about 20,000ha of land is made safe annually.

It was necessary to have a national action programme on UXO disposal with the participation of the ministries of National Defence; Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs; Finance; and Planning and Investment, together with international friends, Canh said.

Under the programme, a map will show areas likely to have unexploded bombs and mines. A national technical code on the safe disposal of explosive devices will also be produced.

Also, the public will be given advice on how to avoid being harmed by UXO, while additional support given to victims.

Between 2016 and 2025, the programme aims to clear 800,000ha of land from UXO in the six worst-affected central provinces.

Viet Nam would also seek financial and technical assistance from other countries and non-government organisations, Canh said. — VNS

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