Hai Lang, Quang Tri (28 August 2020) — Farmer Le Ba Tong, a resident of Dai An Khe Village of Hai Thuong Commune, felt relieved today after an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team of NPA / Project RENEW had safely destroyed a dangerous cluster bomb near his home.
“I know how deadly this weapon is because tens of “bombies” have been found in this area since I started using the land many years ago,” said the 55-year-old farmer. On Thursday, Mr. Tong unearthed another “bombi”, a local term for cluster munitions, when he was dredging a trench adjacent to his family’s fish pond. The alert farmer called the hotline number to report his finding.
In response to Mr. Tong’s report, NPA / RENEW’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team No. 2 was dispatched to Dai An Khe on Friday morning 28 August 2020. The team found a cluster munition and identified it as a BLU-26 which is extremely unstable and dangerous. Team Leader Hoang Duc Long determined to have it destroyed in place.
This week, Quang Tri provincial authorities eased the social distancing regulations following the resurgence of Covid-19 was curbed. However, NPA / RENEW still applies all necessary preventive measures to protect the health of our staff and to ensure the continuation of survey and clearance operations for the safety of the community.
So far in 2020, NPA / RENEW’s EOD teams have conducted 401 spot tasks in response to Explosive Ordnance discoveries that local people of Quang Tri report to the hotline number. As a result, a total of 585 items of explosive ordnance have been safely destroyed.
NPA implements survey and clearance activities in Quang Tri Province in close cooperation with Project RENEW, under a partnership with the Quang Tri Provincial Department of Foreign Affairs. This work is funded by the U.S. Department of State and the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.
Project RENEW was established in 2001 as a joint effort between the government of Quang Tri Province and interested INGOs to “restore the environment and neutralize the effects of the war”.
Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) has worked in Vietnam since 2007 and collaborated with national and provincial authorities to implement capacity development, survey and clearance projects in Hanoi, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue and Quang Binh provinces.