Danish Demining Group (DDG) Vietnam on April 12 launched an education project for the prevention of accidents related to landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXO) in central Quang Nam province’s Duy Xuyen district.

The first phase of the project aims to raise awareness on threats posed by left-over landmines and UXO for more than 11,000 affected school children and more than 10,000 local people.

The project will also look to conduct capacity-building activities in building mine risk education (MRE) for almost 600 teachers of 22 target schools.

At the launching ceremony, DDG Vietnam’s country director Roger Fast committed to providing almost 100,000 USD in financial and in-kind funding for this mine action project in Vietnam.

“Our target beneficiaries are children, who are major landmines and UXO victims. The project has been developed to respond to Vietnam’s strong determination and commitment to meeting the targets in the approved National Mine Action Strategy for the period of 2010-25,” Roger said.

“Our ultimate goal is to remove the immediate threat caused by landmines and UXO, thereby improving and establishing sustainable livelihoods for the local population,” he said.

He also said that DDG will continue calling for the international community’s support for Quang Nam and its neighbouring provinces to be able to deploy technical clearance.

Le Van Chi, a teacher of Duy Tan junior secondary school in Duy Xuyen district, said the project is significant to children and the local people.

“Landmines and UXO left over from the war pose a serious danger to thousands of students, buffalo herders and farmers. Students are very active and they can mistake UXO and landmines as toys, so they are the main victims of explosion,” Chi said.

“Teachers, students and local farmers will have a better awareness of landmines and UXO by receiving illustrated education day by day,” he said.

According to the latest report, more than 30,000 casualties have been recorded, of which 12,000 deaths and almost 19,000 injuries have occurred since the American war ended in 1975.

Quang Nam is one of provinces with the largest number of explosive remnants of war. The total contaminated area is over 1 million hectares, but only 5 percent of the area has been cleared with landmines and UXO. DDG has been present in 13 countries heavily affected by landmines and UXO.-VNA