Quang Tri works hard to alleviate plight caused by UXOs

Over 83 percent of central Quang Tri province’s area were contaminated with bombs, mines and explosives left from wars, according to statistics collected from a recent survey. 

Since 1975, the locality has recorded 8,459 accidents caused by unexploded ordnances (UXO), with over 3,400 deaths and more than 5,000 others injured. Among the victims, women and children account for 31 percent. 

In 1996, Quang Tri was the first locality in the country to coordinate with international organisations in an attempt to alleviate the UXO plight. 

Its partners included the UK’s Mines Advisory Group, Norway’s Restoring the Environment and Neutralising the Effects of the War and the Norwegian People’s Aid, the US-based Clear Path International, and Germany’s Solidarity Service International. 

In addition, the provincial Legacy of War Coordination Centre (LWCC) was established in 2013, helping accelerate the implementation of bomb and mine clearance projects. 

These organisations have provided the locality with financial assistance and equipment together with education on the danger of UXOs. They have also helped victims be independent economically. 

The number of UXO-related accidents in Quang Tri dropped remarkably from 456 during 2001-2007 to 127 for 2008-2014, and many areas of UXO-tainted land decontaminated. Besides, more than 270,000 local children have been educated about how to deal with bombs and mines. 

LWCC Director Hoang Dang Mai said between 1996 and now, the centre has combed over 10 million sq.m of land and found 10,000 UXOs of different kinds, providing clean land to locals to cultivate. 

However, the areas of contaminated land have outweighed their efforts amidst the shortage of equipment and technologies. 

Mai, therefore, emphasised the need for more effective coordination between local authorities, people and international organisations in order to reap best results in the work.

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