Quang Nam responds to int’l day for mine awareness hinh anh 1Sapper force tackles a bom left by the war in Phu Yen (Source: VNA)
Quang Nam (VNA) – Thousands of youngsters gathered in a ceremony in the central province of Quang Nam on April 4 to launch activities responding to the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

The event was jointly held by the State Steering Committee on the National Action Programme on Settling Consequences of Unexploded Ordnance (known as Steering Committee 504), the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee and the People’s Committee of Quang Nam.

Vietnam is among countries with serious unexploded ordnance (UXO) pollution and suffers from the most severe war consequencesin the world.

It is estimated that around 800,000 tonnes of UXO were left across the country after the war ended, mostly in the central region. More than six million hectares of land in the country is bomb-and mine-polluted, accounting for 18.82 percent of Vietnam’s total area.

At least 100,000 people have been injured and killed by bombs and mines since 1975, while the environment and natural resources have been affected, the report said.
In central regions such as Nghe An, Ha Tinh, QuangBinh, Quang Tri, ThuaThien-Hue, QuangNgai and BinhDinh, there have been 22,800 UXO victims, 10,540 of whom died.

Deputy Minister of DefenceSenior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, who is head of the Steering Committee 504, said that since the war ended, more than 2,000sappers have died and got injured while performing bomb and mine clearance tasks.

Despite their great and silent efforts and sacrifice, the country has yet to completely avoid UXO-caused accidents, he said, stressing that the most effective measure is to mobilise the engagement of the whole political system and social organisationsin raising public awareness of preventing UXO accidents.

During the event, the organising board presented 30 gifts, each worth 12 million VND,to victims of post-war bombs and mines.

On the occasion, Quang Nam also opened an exhibition featuring efforts to address UXO consequences, which will run until April 8.-VNA