As a consequence of the Vietnam War, and the conflicts with China and Cambodia in the 70’s, Vietnam is heavily contaminated by explosive remnants of war (ERW), mainly unexploded ordnance (UXO).
Vietnam also has one of the most extensive contamination problems with cluster munition remnants (CMR ) in the world. The US dropped 413,130 tons of submunitions over Vietnam between 1965 and 1973, striking 55 provinces and cities. According to the Landmine Monitor, as of Oct 2017, there have been at least 105,059 mine/ERW casualties.
Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) began supporting Vietnam in 2007 with establishment of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Response team within Project RENEW (Restore the Environment and Neutralize the Effects of the War) in Quang Tri province. The project has evolved and has grown significantly with NPA now being their primary partner. In 2010, NPA piloted its own operations in Thua Thien Hue Province, having more flexibility on the design of methodology and operations. Also from 2010, NPA started to work with national operators and authorities on issues such Information management, Land Release and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Since then, NPA has developed into one of Vietnam’s leading and most diverse international NGOs working in mine action.
NPA is currently running capacity development, survey and clearance projects in Hanoi, Quang Tri Province, Thua Thien Hue Province and Quang Binh Province. The most noticeable added value to the Vietnam mine action program is NPA’s development of the Cluster Munition Remnants Survey (CMRS) methodology; an evidence based survey methodology to confirm the locations of hazards and quantify the CWD problem in Vietnam.
NPA operations include Non-Technical Survey and Technical Survey teams, Battle Area Clearance (BAC) teams and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) mobile teams. In addition to this, NPA has been working to increase coordination within the sector and for capacity development at both national and provincial levels.