It is estimated that more than 6.1 million ha of land or 18.71 percent of Vietnam’s total area are contaminated with about 800,000 tons of bombs, mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) left by wars, which are scattered over all 63 cities and provinces in the country, with the Central region the hardest hit.

Between 1975 and now, bombs and mines killed more than 40,000 people and injured 60,000 others, many of whom are family breadwinners and children.

Military engineers searching for war-left bombs and mines

Over 2,000 military engineers died and got injured while searching for bombs and mines during the period.

Right after the end of war, the Vietnamese Party and State have identified the settlement of consequences caused by war-left bombs, mines and UXO as an urgent but regular, long-term task.

On April 21, 2010, the Prime Minister approved a national action program on overcoming post-war bomb and mine consequences during 2010-2025 (Program 504), aiming to mobilize domestic and foreign resources for these efforts.

During 2010-2015, the program focused on surveying and drawing up a map of danger zones of bombs, mines and UXO. A center was set up to manage data of bomb and mine victims, contamination situation and countermeasures.

For the 2016-2025 period, the Government aims to clear about 800,000 ha of bomb-and mine-polluted land, while calling for domestic and international resources for the implementation of the program.

At the same time, residents living in the danger zones will be relocated and bomb and mine clearance projects will be added to local socio-economic development plans.

The Prime Minister issued a decision on May 24, 2017 on the establishment of the National Steering Committee for the Settlement of Post-war Unexploded Ordnance and Toxic Chemical Consequences (Committee 701).

The committee has been tasked with proposing solutions to mobilize donations at home and abroad for the settlement of consequences of post-war bombs, mines and toxic chemicals in Vietnam.

Apart from the Vietnamese Government’s efforts, international donors and non-governmental organizations have provided equipment and finance to support the settlement of bomb and mine consequences in the country.

Thanks to the joint efforts, each year, Vietnam decontaminated from 40,000-50,000 ha of land. However, it will take more than a century to clear all bombs and mines in the country, with an estimated cost of over USD 10 billion, excluding spending on resettlement and social welfare work in the danger zones.

In Vietnam, 40 social service centers and 400 rehabilitation centers have been established so far to assist people with disabilities, including victims of post-war bombs and mines.

All bomb and mines victims in the country have been entitled to social welfare benefits such as free health insurance cards and support in functional rehabilitation and vocational training.

Source: VNA