The UXOs are found in Ka Tang commune, Lao Bao town, Quang Tri (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Bomb and Mine Action Support Association (VBMASA) vows to exert all efforts to minimise impacts of post-war unexploded ordnances (UXOs), its chairman said at an event marking its first founding anniversary in Hanoi on November 11.

VBMASA Chairman Lt. Gen. Nguyen Duc Soat, former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, said the association was established basing on real demand, and it is assigned to support the State steering committee for the national action programme on settling the consequences of post-war UXOs.

Shortly after the formation, the VBMASA designed an action programme by 2020 and coordinated with the People’s Committees of Ha Giang, Quang Tri, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh provinces to assist UXO victims and conduct communications on UXO accident prevention, he noted.

It has extended cooperation with State agencies, authorities and organisations based in UXO-polluted localities as well as international bodies specialising in the field. The association has also engaged in the State’s related policymaking process.

VBMASA now has 501 individual and 25 organisation members with seven local chapters. It plans to establish another five chapters in the coming time.

Pointing out the association’s certain shortcomings, Soat noted that from 2016 to 2020, it will work harder to minimise and completely address impacts of post-war UXOs. It will also ensure safety for local residents and actively help rehabilitate and resettle UXO victims.

According to a preliminary survey in 2002, nearly 9,300 communes with 6.6 million hectares of land across Vietnam were contaminated with UXOs, accounting for 21.12 percent of the country’s land area; the central region is the most contaminated.

UXOs claimed 42,135 lives and injured 62,163 others from 1975 to 2000. The State has spent tens of millions of USD every year on UXO clearance and providing vocational training to and resettling UXO victims.-VNA