From battle field to farm land
“Having lived here for 25 years, I have many times encountered wartime explosive weapons” says coffee farmer Le Quang Tien. NPA is now clearing explosives in the former restricted area, making it safer for the farmer and his family.
The mountainous district Huong Hoa, Vietnam was once home to the bloody battle of Khe Sanh and is now a peaceful producer of one of the best coffees in Vietnam.
60-year-old farmer Le Quang Tien, who lives near the former Khe Sanh combat base, did not mind taking a break when the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team managed by NPA-Project RENEW announced that they were going to demolish some dangerous munitions found near his coffee plantation.
“Fortunately, no accidents have happened to me,” said the father of three. “Now we feel glad to see the teams coming to rid our land of dangerous munitions.”
Monday, 25 Feb 2019 the team conducted two consecutive demolition tasks to dispose of unexploded ordnance (UXO) found during our Non-Technical Survey (NTS) in Tan Linh and Tan Hao Villages.
The demolitions marked the start of NPA-Project RENEW’s survey and clearance program in this previously restricted district.
In another EOD task that took place later on the same day, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team safely destroyed two cluster munitions found in a local cemetery.
With support and coordination from the district military, NPA-Project RENEW’s first demolitions in Huong Hoa District was a success. 11 unexploded munitions were safely destroyed.
The operations here started a week earlier with a Non-Technical Survey team deployed to the district. Based on the findings, Technical Survey follows up in order to establish Confirmed Hazardous Areas that need full clearance.
The goal of the project is to make all known hazardous areas safe so that farmers like Le Quang Tien can go about their daily activities without facing the risks caused by explosive remnants of war poses.
Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) Survey & Clearance Program implemented at Project RENEW (Restoring the Environment and Neutralizing the Effects of the War) is funded by the U.S. Department of State and the UK Department for International Development, and a cooperation project between NPA and Quang Tri Province Department of Foreign Affairs.