Quang Tri (27 October 2021) – An emergency response team managed by RENEW / NPA on 23 October safely destroyed another deadly cluster sub-munition on an acacia farm in Vinh Linh District. The munition was found in very good working condition on the acacia farm of Mr. Phan Sy Khiem, a 51-year-old forester living in Ben Quan Townlet.
The discovery caused Mr. Khiem to cancel his acacia harvest and to immediately call the provincial reporting hotline to notify authorities of what he had found. A father of three, Mr. Khiem has provided support for his family by planting acacia for nearly 20 years.
He thanked the team for their quick response in removing a potential deadly item from his farm, making it safe for him and for his family. “This is the second time I have found explosive remnants on my farm,” said Mr. Khiem. “Thanks to the quick response from the team, we now can resume normal work.”
Earlier, on 23 June 2021, Phan Van That, a 38-year-old farmer, called the hotline to report he had unearthed a cluster bomb while constructing a small fishpond on his land in Trung Nam Commune, Vinh Linh District. The explosive device was live, lethal, and only 10 meters away from local residences. The team had to evacuate Mr. That, his family, and neighbors to a safe distance before carrying out a controlled detonation in place.
Mr. That told the team it was all thanks to his daughter, Phan Ha Giang, who had learned about the hotline number during a RENEW risk education session at her school. As a result, she was able to help her father report the deadly cluster bomb for timely and safe removal.
The above quick responses to the two emergency calls by the two fathers in Vinh Linh are among over 500 quick response tasks that RENEW / NPA have conducted thus far in 2021.
During the first 10 months of 2021, explosive ordnance discoveries reported by local people in Quang Tri have enabled NPA / RENEW teams to safely dispose of more than 1,300 dangerous munitions.
Local people in Quang Tri Province have become the “eyes” and “ears” of demining teams, providing life-saving information about explosive ordnance so the response teams can safely remove and destroy the munitions. The three-year period 2018-2020 is the first time since the war ended in 1975 that there have been no injuries or fatalities in Quang Tri Province. That record still stands today.
We would like to thank the United States Government for supporting RENEW / NPA survey and clearance in Quang Tri Province.
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”. RENEW is the only comprehensive mine action organization in Vietnam that integrates survey and clearance, risk education, and victim assistance into a coordinated program of action.
Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) is a politically independent membership-based organization working in Norway and more than 30 countries worldwide. NPA’s international work covers three core areas: Mine Action and disarmament, Development and Humanitarian relief 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.