Deputy Minister of Defence Senior Lt General Nguyễn Chí Vịnh listens to a report about initial dioxin-remediation results in the Biên Hòa Airbase area. Photo courtesy of USAID
HCM CITY— Over the past year, 1,134 cubic metres of dioxin-contaminated sediment were removed from a lake in a Biên Hoà City public park, according to officials speaking at an event held to celebrate initial dioxin-remediation results in the Biên Hòa Airbase area, highlighting the US and Việt Nam’s commitment toward resolving war legacies.
The event was organised earlier this week by the US Mission to Việt Nam, Đồng Nai Province People’s Committee, Việt Nam’s Air Defense Air Force Command (ADAFC), and the Ministry of National Defense.
In the coming weeks, after restoration of grass and trees in the park, USAID and ADAFC will hand back the land to Biên Hòa City. This result is the first milestone achieved through the $300 million US Government commitment to restoring the airbase and surrounding areas, which will take 10 years to complete.
USAID and ADAFC also signed an additional land handover agreement which will focus on the removal of contaminated sediment over the next two years on the airbase.
The US Government, through USAID and Government of Vietnam partners, including the National Action Center for Chemical and Environmental Treatment, has also launched a project to provide support for persons with disabilities in eight priority provinces.
USAID has committed $65 million for the project over the next five years to ensure that persons with disabilities can fully participate in society while improving their overall quality of life.
The US Government, through USAID and Government of Vietnam partners, including the National Action Center for Chemical and Environmental Treatment, on January 20 launched a project to provide support for persons with disabilities in eight priority provinces. VNA/VNS.Photo Nguyễn Văn Việt
In addition, the US Government, through USAID, signed a letter of intent with the Office of the Standing Board for the National Steering Committee on Overcoming the Post-war Unexploded Ordnance and Toxic Chemical Consequences (called Office 701) in Việt Nam to guide future cooperation and collaboration on joint war-legacy communications.
US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink said: “While the scale of this initial success may seem small compared to the overall remediation challenge ahead, this achievement is notable as the first time we have remediated land outside of Ministry of National Defense control. Our successful cooperation with local authorities off-base gives me confidence that we will achieve our goal of remediating dioxin contamination throughout the Biên Hòa Airbase area.”
“One way we can work to maintain and strengthen this commitment is to share with the Vietnamese and American people the beneficial impact of our cooperation to overcome the legacies of war. That’s why I am also happy to witness today the signing of a letter of intent between USAID and Office 701 to systematically communicate our joint success in overcoming the legacies of the past,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Defence Senior Lt General Nguyễn Chí Vịnh said: “The event is a first step and important milestone in co-operation between Việt Nam and the US to resolve war legacies in the upcoming time.” VNS