Trieu Tai Commune, Trieu Phong District (15 March 2012)
An international workshop on prehospital trauma care analgesic – use of Ketamine as a pain relief drug was held in Dong Ha City, Quang Tri Province by the Department of Health (DoH) in coordination with Norway-based Tromsoe Mine Victim Resource Center (TMC) and Project RENEW.
Her family started digging up their star-fruit tree yesterday morning when, to their astonishment, five wartime munitions were unearthed at the depth of half a meter. Terrified at what they had found, they stopped digging immediately and called Project RENEW’s hotline number for quick action to neutralize the danger, since the UXO were just 15 meters from their house.
Less than an hour later, Project RENEW’s mobile EOD team arrived at her house. The team set up a safety cordon around the location where the UXO was uncovered and began investigating the area around it.
According to Thom, for 28 years her family has lived since in this area, which is believed to be heavily contaminated with unexploded munitions left from the fighting that ended 35 years ago. She said that the authorities had collected and removed hundreds of UXO in the past; however, she was always worried that some buried caches of munitions remained in her village, in unknown places.
This latest finding is a harsh reminder that Quang Tri Province is still one of the areas most heavily impacted by UXO, which means the cleanup and destruction of UXO will continue for years to come.
Through the integrated Risk Education / Community Reporting Network, which supports the EOD operations, Project RENEW is demonstrating that the UXO danger can be reduced and eventually eliminated – by educating children and adults about UXO risks and enlisting them to report UXO sightings to RENEW’s teams for timely removal. Local people like Ms. Thom now are well aware of UXO risks, they now are on constant alert, and they know when they encounter UXO they should call the hotline number immediately.
With financial and technical assistance from Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), RENEW’s teams continue to provide battle area clearance in response to local development priorities and EOD quick response, as in Ms. Thom’s case, to ensure public safety. Part of this demining funding also comes from the Office of Weapon Removal and Abatement of the U.S Department of State.