Vietnam needs over 200 million USD to treat 240,000 cubic metres of dioxin-contaminated soil and deposits at Bien Hoa airport by 2020, heard a workshop in the southern province of Dong Nai on October 29.

Co-hosted by the office of the national steering board on the consequences of toxic chemicals during the war in Vietnam (Office 33) and the provincial People’s Committee, the event was meant to raise public awareness on preventing exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin.

According to Office 33, the country has three dioxin hotspots, including Phu Cat, Da Nang and Bien Hoa airports.

Between December 1969 and March 1970, at least four AO spills occurred at Bien Hoa airport, posing the greatest risk of dioxin exposure.

The Ministry of National Defence has buried 94,000 cubic metres of contaminated soil and deposits to date.
Deputy head of Office 33 Le Ke Son said top officials from the US International Development Programme and the US Embassy in Vietnam recently inspected the level of dioxin pollution at Bien Hoa airport. The US side will announce its environmental assessment plan as it committed.

Office 33 and the provincial Department of Health were requested to call on households, fishermen, farmers and those living near Bien Hoa airport to choose safe food, and educate them on ways to reduce dioxin exposure and farming chemicals that potentially contain AO deposits.-VNA