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Vietnam unveils plans to ramp up post-war UXO, toxic chemical clean-up

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Military officers searching for unexploded ordnance in Quang Trị Province, one of the heavily bombed region of Vietnam during the resistance war against America. VNA/VNS

Vietnam unveils plans to ramp up post-war UXO, toxic chemical clean-up

Vietnam plans to step up efforts to clear post-war unexploded ordnance (UXO) and toxic chemicals, aiming to remove about 800,000ha of bomb and mine-polluted land by 2025.

The information was announced at a conference held on January 8 by the National Steering Committee on the Settlement of Post-war Unexploded Ordnance and Toxic Chemical Consequences, or Committee 701, under the Ministry of National Defence.

The ministry worked with authorities and agencies to handle post-war UXO and toxic chemicals in 2016-2020, successfully decontaminating two airports and handling some 260 tonnes of Chlorobenzylidenmalo (CS).

In the five-year period, agencies and authorities removed toxic chemicals in Danang Airport in central Danang city and Phu Cat airport in Quy Nhon city, in the central province of Binh Dinh, and also started work in Bien Hoa and Aso airports.

They have also implemented projects to support victims in provinces hit hard by toxic chemicals while working with localities to seek international donors to implement projects.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Defence Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh requested the committee continue its work, noting that in the immediate future, it is necessary to finalise documents to ensure benefits and support for people who fought in the war and were affected by toxic chemicals.

Authorities need to continue to focus on contaminated spots that have been detected, investigate and evaluate the level of toxic chemicals in areas sprayed with chemicals in the wartime and other suspected areas while monitoring the environment after settlement, the official said, adding that about 800,000ha of bomb and mine-polluted land is expected to be cleared by 2025.

He also called on authorities to study the legal grounds and scientific basis to fight for justice for Agent Orange/Dioxin victims based on legal grounds and in accordance with Vietnam and the US’ laws and international practice.



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