Trieu Ai Commune, Trieu Phong District (8 May 2013)
Following a report last Friday from residents of Trieu Ai Commune, the Project RENEW Community Support Team (CST) found a cache of unexploded cluster munitions stockpiled in the middle of an acacia tree plantation, luckily nearly 10 km away from the closest residential zone.
Arriving at the plantation the team found hundreds of items of unexploded ordnance (UXO), mainly cluster bombs which are known by the Vietnamese as bombies, all stacked in one spot and cordoned off by handmade wood railings. It is likely that when acacia tree farmers found these weapons they chose to leave them in a pile and mark them with the railings and a temporary warning sign.
The information was passed on to RENEW’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team which was operating in Trieu Phong District, and the team responded quickly.
Since the majority of UXO were cluster bombs and extremely unsafe to move, the EOD team worked for two days to safely destroyed them in place (in situ).
A total of 230 items of UXO were destroyed, including 194 bombies.
According to the Project RENEW Coordination Office, during the last four months local people made 101 calls to RENEW’s EOD teams to report sightings of UXO, resulting in 129 UXO being safely removed or destroyed. RENEW teams also referred 32 calls to other NGOs operating in other areas of the province, such as MAG or SODI, resulting in additional UXO being neutralized and further ensuring safety of people in the community.
Launched in 2001, Project RENEW – Restoring the Environment and Neutralizing the Effects of the War – is a cooperative program between the government of Quang Tri Province and international non-governmental organizations dedicated to reducing and eliminating the threat from explosive remnants of war (ERW). Operating with major funding from Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), Project RENEW embraces the major pillars of mine action including ERW Survey and Clearance, Risk Education, Victim Assistance, and Community Development.