PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAO DONG NEWSPAPER
Quang Tri Province in Vietnam's central region is green again thanks to international NGOs who have made a tremendous push toward clearing war-era bombs and mines in recent years.
There's still a long way to go, however.
Around 400,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) are believed to remain buried across 480,000 hectares of land in Quang Tri.
UXO can be found in residential areas, gardens and even under the floors of houses.
According to official statistics, between 1975 and 2011, more than 7,000 people, 31 percent of whom were children, fell victim to accidents caused by UXO in Quang Tri.
Since May 1998, non-profit organizations from Germany, the United States and other countries, including SODI, PeaceTrees Vietnam, CPI, Renew and MAG, have destroyed more than 370,000 UXO over an area of 5,600 hectares at a total cost of US$25 million.
More than 100,000 primary and secondary school students have enjoyed Mine/UXO Risk Education, a program implemented by UNICEF.
The non-profit organizations have built resettlement villages for more than 400 households in areas which have been cleared of bombs and mines.
They also built four schools, 13 kindergartens, 12 women’s libraries and an office for the provincial association of blind people.
However, it is estimated that it will take another 300 years for Quang Tri to totally rid itself of UXO, given the current pace of clearance.
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