Dialogue looks into post-war bomb, mine recovery measures hinh anh 1At the dialogue to discuss measures resolving the lingering consequences of unexploded ordnances (UXO) and toxic chemicals left by wars (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Measures to resolve the lingering consequences of unexploded ordnances (UXO) and toxic chemicals left by wars throughout the country were discussed at a dialogue held by the Standing Office of the National Steering Committee on the Settlement of Post-war UXO and Toxic Chemical Consequences (Office 701) on December 25.

The event was attended by Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, Head of Office 701; and representatives from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (AO) and Dioxin and competent agencies.

Along with bold moves to ensure healthcare and jobs for AO/dioxin victims, the participants looked into measures to enhance state management in the inspection and war aftermath alleviation.

Domestic and international cooperation to assist AO/dioxin and landmine victims was highlighted at the event.

As a core force in the settlement of post-war consequences work, the High Command of Chemicals has joined hands with both domestic and foreign organisations to complete 19 projects on research, evaluation and survey of leftover bombs, mines and toxic chemicals.

Particularly, it has worked with competent agencies to assess the dioxin contamination levels at several airports like Tan Son Nhat, Da Nang, Tuy Hoa and Phu Cat, and give consultation to treat 7,500 cubic metres of polluted land at Phu Cat airport, and 90,000 cubic metres at Da Nang airport.

Taking note of the efforts made by relevant ministries, agencies and localities in the past time, Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh said that they should enhance coordination, raise public awareness of the urgent task of bomb and mine recovery work, and promote communication about preventive measures as well as assistance to victims of post-war bombs and mines and AO/dioxin.

According to the Ministry of National Defence, about 800,000 tonnes of unexploded bombs and mines left over from wartime remain buried over 6.13 million hectares, accounting for 18.82 percent of the country.

At the current rate of clearance, it would take the country at least 100 years and billions of dollars to complete the job.

The figure does not include the billions of US dollars needed for resettlement and ensuring social security in contaminated areas.

Since 1975, leftover wartime bombs and mines have killed over 40,000 people and injured 60,000 more./.