Quang Tri (18 Feb 2020) – Project RENEW was pleased to welcome Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)’s Mine Action and Disarmament delegates to Quang Tri Province as part of their working visit to NPA Vietnam program from 16 to 19 Feb 2020.
The delegates included Charles Frisby, Regional Director for Balkan, Central Asia and Southeast Asia and Arshad Mubarak Ali, Desk Officer for Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam, from the NPA Head Office in Oslo, Norway.
On Tuesday, the delegation visited RENEW-NPA’s Battle Area Clearance (BAC) teams working to clear areas contaminated with cluster munitions and other explosive ordnance in Hai An Commune, Hai Lang District. These areas had been identified and mapped out during the technical survey process. Desk Officer Ali, with instructions of RENEW-NPA BAC Team Leader, initiated the firing device to demolish three items of unexploded ordnance, including one 60mm mortar, one hand grenade and one cluster bomb, found by the teams on the site.
The delegation later traveled to Trieu Ai Commune, Trieu Phong District to see the Bearcat vegetation cutting system in action. The Bearcat is part of the US DoD-funded Operational Field Evaluation project of NPA Vietnam to develop, demonstrate and validate detection and mechanical systems for more effective and efficient clearance of cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war in Vietnam.
Project RENEW-NPA Survey and Clearance Program in Quang Tri Province is funded by the U.S. Department of State and the UK Department for International Development.
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.