Vietnam needs more funding to clear unexploded ordnance (UXO) from hundreds of thousands of hectares of land, and will continue to seek it from local and international sources, a senior official has said.

Col Vu Ngoc Diem of the Technology Centre for Bomb and Mine Disposal under the Engineering Command told the Quan Doi Nhan Dan (People's Army) newspaper that US soldiers dropped 15.35 million tonnes of bombs and mines during the American War, and current UXO volume was estimated at 800,000 tonnes.

The centre estimates that about 10 billion USD is needed to clear the remaining UXOs.

According to an official survey done in 2002, the area contaminated by bombs and mines nationwide was about 6.6 million ha, accounting for 21.12 percent of country's total area.

From 1964 in the northern part of the country and from 1975 in the south until 2000, 42,135 people have been killed and 62,163 injured by UXOs. Most of the victims are farmers and their children.

The UXOs are a major hindrance to socio-economic development because people living in contaminated areas refrain from farming and other activities for fear of losing their lives and limbs.

To deal with the post-war consequences of bombs and mines, the country needed to spend hundreds of billions of dong, Diem said.

Last year, the Government developed a national action plan until 2025 to deal with the UXOs left behind by the war.

The plan expects to make people more aware of the danger of the UXOs and to attract local and international assistance for removing them and rehabilitating affected citizens./.