Quang Tri to clear 42 million sq.m of land from cluster bombs

By VNA   February 8, 2024 | 05:00 pm PT
Quang Tri to clear 42 million sq.m of land from cluster bombs
Soliders defuse a bomb in Quang Tri Province in 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tai Tuyen
The central province of Quang Tri, a former Vietnam War battlefield, has assigned organizations to clear about 42 million sq.m of land contaminated with cluster bombs this year.

The province's steering committee for settling war-left unexploded ordnance (UXO) consequences noted that in 2024, it will continue operating the mine action information management system; collecting, processing, and updating information about the organizations' activities on the mine action database; and applying information technology to enhance the capacity of coordinating UXO settlement efforts.

It has also asked the provincial Military Command to submit proposals about support for UXO surveys in remaining areas so as to finish surveying across Quang Tri in 2026 - 2027 and draw maps of UXO-contaminated areas.

From 2015 to April 2023, the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) surveyed traces of cluster bombs in all accessible areas in Quang Tri. It found 1,270 dangerous areas covering 615 sq.km of cluster bomb-polluted land, including 173 sq.km already cleared by international non-governmental organizations and the provincial Military Command and the remaining 442 sq.km. still being handled.

That has helped draw maps of confirmed dangerous areas and identify all the places contaminated with bombs, mines, and explosive materials needing clearance. It has also assisted relevant parties to gain an overview of the local UXO situation to make clearance plans.

Quang Tri, located in the frontline between North and South Vietnam during wartime, was the most UXO-contaminated locality in the country. Since 1975, when Vietnam was reunified, UXOs have caused over 8,540 casualties, including 3,432 deaths in Quang Tri. A third of the casualties are people aged under 16.

The province looks to become safe from UXOs left from war in 2025.

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