|The Ministry of Defence last Saturday (September 16) started a project to treat dioxin contamination in and around Biên Hòa Airport in the southeast province of Đồng Nai. — VNA/VNS Photo Sỹ Tuyên|Viet Nam News
ĐỒNG NAI — The Ministry of Defence on Saturday started the construction of infrastructure to address dioxin contamination at Biên Hòa Airport in Biên Hòa City, the southern province of Đồng Nai.
The project has total investment of VNĐ270 billion (US$11.8 million) from the State budget.
Key facilities include disarming war-time mines and bombs, building roads, zoning off dioxin contaminated areas and removing organisations and military works from the new detected squalid regions.
Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Chí Vịnh, the deputy minister of Defence, said on Saturday that the project shows the determination and efforts of Việt Nam’s Government and the State Steering Committee on National Action Programme on Settling the Consequences caused by unexploded ordnance and treating areas contaminated with dioxin, also known as Agent Orange.
The project will help reduce the risk of dioxin exposure to staff members, soldiers and residents working at and living near the airport, he said.
The move is a technical infrastructure preparation for a dioxin treatment project worth $500 million in non-refundable official development assistance from the US and other partners. Construction of the dioxin treatment project will begin latter this year, he added.
The High Command of Air Defence and Air Forces is assigned to carry out the project.
The Biên Hòa Airport used to be the main army base of the US military during the war. Between December 1969 and March 1970, at least four AO spills occurred at the Biên Hòa Airport, posing the greatest risk of dioxin exposure.
The ministry has also cordoned off 94,000sq.m of land near the airport which is contaminated. — VNS