Gio Linh, Quang Tri (13 March 2019): A family in Gio Linh Townlet today feel relieved after 25 mortar rounds have been safely removed from their new house under construction by a mobile Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team managed by Project RENEW and Norwegian People’s Aid (RENEW-NPA).
Mr. Tran Vinh Thanh Danh, a resident of Quarter 6 of Gio Linh Townlet, expressed his gratitude to the NPA-Project RENEW team who had arrived at his construction site early on Wednesday morning to deal with the ordnance.
“We are so glad because we now feel safe on our own land,” said the 39-year-old father of three. “Thanks to the team’s quick response, my workers can continue working with peace of mind,” he added.
According to Team Leader Truong Van Vien who is in charge of NPA-Project RENEW’s EOD Team No. 3, the task on Wednesday morning was to respond to an emergency call to the Quang Tri Mine Action Center. “Because most of these mortar rounds are unfired and others lost fuzes, our team will transport them to our disposal site for safe destruction,” said Team Leader Vien.
As the northernmost district of Quang Tri Province during the Vietnam War, Gio Linh was the host of the former U.S Marine Corps Firebase, which formed one corner of what became known as Leatherneck Square, with the other corners being Con Thien, Cam Lộ Combat Base and Đông Hà Combat Base.
Since 1975, explosive remnants of war (ERW) have caused 275 fatalities and 891 injuries in Gio Linh District. The latest explosion occurred on 23 June 2015 in Trung Son Commune, killing a 42-year-old man, father of three, while he was attempting to dismantle a projectile.
During the past four years, EOD teams managed by NPA-Project RENEW have found and safely destroyed nearly 2,000 cluster munitions and other UXO in Gio Linh District.
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” – with the main focus on unexploded ordinance.
Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) is one of the leading organizations worldwide in humanitarian disarmament. NPA has worked in Vietnam since 2008 following the signing of an MOU with the government of Quang Tri People’s Committee to support the development of Project RENEW’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) capacity. NPA’s operational footprint now covers all of Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue Provinces, with an increase of assets to four Battle Area Clearance teams, one Non-Technical Survey team, four EOD teams, and 25 Technical Survey teams.