Trees and vegetables have appeared in many areas of central Thua Thien–Hue province, zones once uninhabitable because of unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Over 11,300 hectares of land in the locality are now clear of bombs and mines left from wars thanks to efforts to clean up the area over the past eights years, said lieutenant-colonel Tran Tuan Anh from the provincial Military High Command.

The land will now serve the resettlement and economic development of local people, especially among mountainous ethnic minorities, he added.

All categories of land in the province have been poisoned with UXO. As many as 148 out of 152 wards and communes have suffered from the existence of bombs, mines and explosives.

Over 22 percent of the wards and communes have a high contamination level, while 7.8 percent have a very high level.

Thua Thien–Hue has focused on clearing UXO from residential and farming land. As a result, 45 heavy bombs, 3,070 cluster bombs and 1,000 grenades were collected.

Nam Dong district has the largest area of cleared land, with nearly 5,000 of 18,000 hectares of contaminated land now safe.

The province still has over 172,400 hectares of land tainted with bombs, mines and explosives, or 34.4 percent of its total area.

The locality is stepping up efforts to raise public awareness of the dangers posed by UXO.

Local authorities are also working with international organisations in this field, such as UXO and explosive clearance projects funded by the Australian Government since 2002 and the German Government since 2010.-VNA