Trieu Thanh Commune, Trieu Phong District (14 May 2012)
Hundreds of unexploded ordnance (UXO) left over from the war were safely removed today from under the foundation of a house in Co Thanh Village of Trieu Thanh Commune. The clearance task was carried out by Project RENEW’s quick response team following a phone call to RENEW’s free hotline number last weekend reporting the UXO.
On Sunday afternoon, local bricklayers building a new kitchen for Mr. Le Cu, a 70-year-old villager, unearthed tons of wartime munitions, all unexploded, while digging the foundation. Too terrified to continue construction, the bricklayers immediately stopped their work and informed Mr. Cu of their shocking discovery.
Located within 150 meters of the Quang Tri Old Citadel, Co Thanh Village witnessed some of the fiercest battles during the Vietnam War – the Eastern Offensive. Having settled in the area since 1975, Mr. Cu has encountered numerous UXO as well as human remains.
“The village has sustained many casualties because of UXO accidents while reclaiming land for settlement and farming. Last year, my family found bombs and mines while building a fence for their house”, said Ms. Huong, Cu’s daughter who reported the UXO to RENEW’s team.
“I’m a teacher of Trieu Tai Commune and I work with the local Youth Union and RENEW to educate children about UXO risk so I was aware of how to go about reporting UXO sightings,” she added.
RENEW’s Quick Response Team arrived at Cu’s house this morning and carried out a technical investigation. The team members unearthed more UXO than had been originally identified from the foundation. The team was able to remove the UXO and return the land to Mr. Cu who is able to continue building his new kitchen. A total of 250 items of UXO were collected, safely removed and transported to the team’s disposal site for destruction later this afternoon.
Project RENEW is grateful to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norwegian People’s Aid, U.S. Department of State for technical and financial support.