Vinh Linh, Quang Tri (November 19, 2021) — Like many other families in Thai Lai Village of Vinh Thai Commune, Vinh District, the family of Mr. Nguyen Van The and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thuong are entitled to have a hectare of land for agricultural production. The coastal village of Thai Lai has over 200 families who make their living on fishing and acacia plantation.
Located only 30 km from Con Co Island, Thai Lai Village was subject to heavy aerial bombings, especially cluster munitions, and naval attacks from the U.S. military from 1967-1972 because of its role as a logistical hub for the provision of supplies to the northern Vietnamese forces on the island. Unexploded ordnance left from the war that ended in 1975 has killed six people and injured 11 in Thai Lai Village.
“Knowing that our land has been cleared of unexploded ordnance, we made a bold decision to expand our acacia plantation with the hope of earning more income for the family,” said 46-year-old Nguyen Van The, a father of two. While his wife runs a small food shop near the beach, Mr. The tends their acacia plantation.
Today, the couple feels happy and confident in tending seedlings that they just planted two weeks ago on land that has been made safe from explosive hazards.
Their last crop of acacia earned Mr. The over 1.500 US dollars, a substantial income for their family since his wife’s food shop only operates in summer. Thanks to the safe land released by the teams managed by RENEW/NPA, Mr. The has planted more seedlings this year and hopes to earn even more money.
Mr. The and Mrs. Huong are among 1,735 people of Thai Lai village of Vinh Thai commune and Huynh Cong Tay village of Vinh Tu commune who are directly benefiting from the safe land released by RENEW/NPA. Earlier in November 2021, the RENEW/NPA operations management team met with the local authorities of Vinh Thai and Vinh Tu communes to officially hand over cleared areas for safe use and further development.
Thanks to the efforts of RENEW/NPA clearance teams, nearly four million square meters of contaminated land have been cleared of explosive ordnance hazards. Over 2,700 items of dangerous explosive ordnance have been safely destroyed during the process.
Starting from June 2020, RENEW/NPA conducted clearance activities for the first time on the northern side of the former DMZ in Quang Tri Province. A total of six clearance teams were deployed to clear confirmed hazardous areas that had been previously identified in Vinh Linh District.
On 9 April 2021, a RENEW/NPA clearance team uncovered a cache of nearly 500 explosive munitions in an acacia plantation in Huynh Cong Tay Village of Vinh Tu Commune. The finding marks the highest number of explosives that RENEW/NPA teams have ever found in a single working day.
We would like to thank the United States Government for supporting RENEW / NPA survey and clearance in Quang Tri Province.
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”. RENEW is the only comprehensive mine action organization in Vietnam that integrates survey and clearance, risk education, and victim assistance into a coordinated program of action.
Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) is a politically independent membership-based organization working in Norway and more than 30 countries worldwide. NPA’s international work covers three core areas: Mine Action and disarmament, Development and Humanitarian relief aid. NPA has worked in Vietnam since 2007 and collaborated with national and provincial authorities to implement capacity development, survey, and clearance projects in Hanoi, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, and Quang Binh provinces.
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