More than four decades after the Vietnam War ended, unexploded ordnance remains a serious threat to many communities throughout Vietnam. It is estimated that out of the 15 million tons of munitions used by the U.S during the war, 10% failed to detonate on impact (U.S. Dept. of Defense). This means that many unstable and dangerous munitions still lie just beneath the ground. According to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, unexploded bombs have been responsible for more than 100,000 injuries and fatalities since 1975, rendering many of the survivors permanently disabled.
During the war Quang Tri Province was subjected to the heaviest bombing campaign in the history of the world. Quang Tri Province alone has sustained over 8,500 casualties from accidents involving unexploded ordnance, and 31% of the victims have been children. Over 72 million square meters of land have been mapped out as confirmed hazardous areas.
The province ranks 9th among 58 provinces sprayed with Agent Orange and other herbicides. More than 15 thousand people suffer disabilities assumed to be caused by Agent Orange. Although data is not available to measure economic losses of agricultural land or other development restrictions due to widespread unexploded ordnance contamination, these socio-economic costs are considered to be extremely high.
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