MAG has a positive impact on communities in Vietnam. By clearing villages of landmines and unexploded ordnance, land is freed up for agriculture and development.
Why MAG is needed in Vietnam
Central Vietnam is the most affected region, and the most recent assessment on the six central provinces of Vietnam reports that the provinces of Quang Binh and Quang Tri are the two most contaminated1.
According to military records, each square metre of land in Quang Tri received more than 63kg of ordnance from both aerial and naval attack during the war. The assessment also reports that Quang Tri has recorded the highest number of casualties since the end of the war (6,760 casualties, including 2,774 killed)1.
As a consequence of a history of heavy bombardment, 100 per cent of the communes within Quang Binh and Quang Tri are still reported as contaminated.
The impact of contamination is wide-reaching, hindering construction of housing, expansion of infrastructure, resettlement initiatives, and other development activities.
UXO and landmines restrict access and utilisation to potential natural resources, which is particularly significant to a region that is heavily dependent upon primary production.
As Vietnam strives to achieve economic growth there has been an associated increase in demand for new housing, new roads and infrastructure. In addition, there is a growing pressure to further expand agricultural enterprises, which also requires the release of more land. This increase in development and human activity on land is having the result of increasing the risk of exposure to UXO.
The Landmine Impact Survey notes that the “forecast industrialisation and development of rural areas over the next 10 to 15 years is expected to increase the impact of UXO and landmines.”1
In addition to the demand for land created through economic growth, the effects of climate change are also expected to place a compounding effect on demand for land.
Perhaps the most significant socio-economic impact of landmines and UXO is that their presence creates a burden of fear and concern among people living in contaminated communities, hindering economic activities.
Your donation to MAG helps us to move into current and former conflict zones to clear the
remnants of conflict, enabling recovery and assisting the development
of affected populations.
How to donate and where your money goes
1 Vietnam Unexploded Ordnance and Landmine impacts assessment & Rapid Technical Response, published by BOMICEN, released July 2009.
How MAG is helping in Vietnam
MAG has teams of highly-trained deminers clearing land in Quang Binh and Quang Tri provinces, with field bases located in the towns of Dong Ha and Dong Hoi. In 2012 MAG also commenced operations in the province of Quang Nam and a new base was established in the town of Tam Ky.
Our Humanitarian Mine Action activities are determined by clearance plans and priorities that are developed in partnership with local communities, national and local government and development partners.
In this way, MAG is able to identify land that is most needed by people, then safely clear and release the safe land for development, directly assisting the Government of Vietnam in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
From November 1999 to May 2012, more than 1.8 million people benefited from MAG’s clearance activities in the country; around 7.64 km2 of contaminated land was cleared and released back to communities; mobile operations have been conducted in 1,867 villages; 178,225 items of UXO, (including cluster munitions and light weapons) was destroyed; and 2,537 anti-personnel mines were found and destroyed
MAG’s key activities in Vietnam include:
• Community Liaison teams work directly with communities to gather information regarding dangerous areas, liaise with key stakeholders, and strengthen local information networks.
• Emergency response: an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team responds to emergency tasks that are reported either through Community Liaison teams, by local authorities or via a telephone ‘hotline’ number, which communities can use to directly report items. These are responded to within 48 hours of receiving the task.
• Research and Development: MAG Vietnam assists in evaluating innovative new technologies and methodologies under operational conditions.
The removal of all known UXO from their local environment opens up land for vulnerable families which can be used for resettlement and agriculture, while social development projects which can be carried out once clearance is complete benefit the wider community.
MAG Vietnam's administrative headquarters is based in Hanoi, with regional offices in Quang Binh, Quang Nam and Quang Tri where UXO and landmine clearance, EOD and Community Liaison activities are carried out.
MAG Vietnam contact details: MAG Vietnam, 202/B1, Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound, 298 Kim Ma, Hanoi, Vietnam Telephone: + 84 4 3 726 23 25.
Photo gallery: How MAG works
. Helping communities affected by unexploded ordnance in Quang Binh and Quang Tri provinces.