An all-female team of Mines Advisory Group searches for unexploded landmines in Cát Lăng District, Quảng Trị Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồ Cầu
QUẢNG TRỊ — The central province of Quảng Trị, the area most heavily contaminated by unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Việt Nam following the war with the US, is working to clear about 3,000ha of land each year to become the first Vietnamese locality to be safe from UXO accidents by 2025.
The provincial People’s Committee has issued a plan to implement an action programme for settling the consequences of UXO in 2021-2025.
Beside land clearance, Quảng Trị will aim to mobilise US$10-12 million annually from foreign non-governmental organisations to address UXO, complete all cluster bomb detection activities, and publicise areas identified as dangerous due to UXO.
It plans to help 60,000 people access education on UXO and have 1,300-1,500 UXO victims and their families receive healthcare and livelihood support every year.
All local schools are expected to include UXO safety education in their curricula within the next five years.
To realise these targets, the provincial administration has devised several solutions, including stepping up the mobilisation of foreign funding for dealing with UXO, building a policy on developing human resources for UXO settlement, increasing training for those who manage and steer the work, and boosting communications to raise awareness among agencies and the community and engendering a sense of responsibility for the issue.
Eighty-two per cent of Quảng Trị’s total area is contaminated by UXO from the war with the US during the 1960-70s. Wartime bombs and landmines have killed more than 3,430 local people and injured 5,100 others.
The province has worked since 1995 with international organisations such as the US-based Peace Trees Vietnam, the Mines Advisory Group, Clear Path International, and the Norwegian People’s Aid on clearing UXO. — VNS