A delegation of the US Deputy Secretary of State examine UXO clearance activities in Quang Tri (Photo: baoquangtri.vn)

Quang Tri (VNA) – More than 67 million USD has been poured into the central province of Quang Tri to help it clear bombs and mines left from the war over the past two decades.

The information was released at a conference held by the provincial People’s Committee on September 23 to review international cooperation in the work during the 2006-2016 period.

Quang Tri is among localities suffering the most from war aftermath, with more than 390,000 hectares of land, or 82 percent of the province’s total area, are polluted with unexploded ordnance (UXO).

According to the Ministry of Defence, since 1975, bomb and mine accidents have killed and injured 8,526 people, 27 percent of whom were children.

With over 80 percent of locals living on agriculture and forestry, Quang Tri’s socio-economic development and poverty reduction will be affected by the bomb and mine pollution in the long run.

The pollution will also cause heavy impact on the lives and assets of people as well as security, social order and safety, environment and sustainable development in the province.

Over the past 20 years, demining projects in Quang Tri have cleared 116 million sq.m of seriously polluted areas, safely handling nearly 593,000 bombs, mines and other UXO.

UXO risks have been popularised among local community, especially children. More than 360,000 locals have been taught on safe production in the polluted environment thanks to prgorammes sponsored by non-governmental organisations.

Activities supporting bomb and mine victims have also been diversified, aiming to ease difficulties facing them and their families, and improve their living conditions.

In the coming time, the province will focus on raising the responsibility of the whole political system in overcoming bomb and mine consequences, while implementing a demining quality check process and post-demining risk management, as well as a procedure to test the quality of awareness education programmes in the locality.

Meanwhile, Quang Tri will also call for investment from international organisations in building a mine action centre, and upgrade infrastructure and equipment for emergency aids for UXO victims.-VNA