South Korea donates 200 mine detectors to Vietnam province

By Hoang Tao   March 19, 2019 | 07:23 pm PT
South Korea donates 200 mine detectors to Vietnam province
Mine detectors donated by South Korea to Quang Binh Province are presented at a ceremony on Tuesday. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Tao
A South Korean development agency has donated 200 mines detectors to Quang Binh Province in central Vietnam.

The Vietnam National Mine Action Center (VNMAC) received the devices from the Korea International Cooperation Agency and the United Nations Development Programme at a ceremony in the province on Tuesday.

Speaking at the ceremony, VNMAC deputy general director Nguyen Hanh Phuc said the devices with their modern features would help accurately pinpoint the locations of bombs, mines and UXO still buried in the ground.

Using these data, the center would set up a database on polluted and cleared areas, which is among key land management data for the province.

The donation of the devices was made under the framework of a Vietnam-South Korea cooperation project to mitigate the losses caused by war-era bombs and mines launched in March last year.

The project has received $20 million from South Korea to clear UXO in an area of around 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) in Quang Binh and Binh Dinh Provinces. Some 224,000 ha of land in Quang Binh, or 30 percent of its total area, is contaminated by UXO.

In the first year of the project VNMAC surveyed 4,600 ha in Quang Binh and Binh Dinh and found many places contaminated by UXO, training 230 officials from the Ministry of Defense on UXO survey and detection.

The project has also helped raise awareness of prevention of UXO-related accidents among residents in 14 communes in five districts.

According to statistics from the Technology Center for Bomb and Mine Disposal, all 159 of Quang Binh Province's communes, wards and towns are contaminated by UXO, which is spread over an area of over 200,000 hectares (494,000 acres) or 28.2 percent of the province's total area.

Since 1975 UXO-related accidents in the province have killed over 2,930 people and injured another 3,820.

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