MAG in Vietnam

PEOPLE WE'VE HELPED DIRECTLY

750,726

LANDMINES REMOVED & DESTROYED

2,622

UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE ITEMS DESTROYED

259,757

SQUARE METRES OF LAND MADE SAFE

26,673,132

Four decades after the end of the war, Vietnam is still heavily contaminated by unexploded ordnance (UXO), including cluster munitions.

Agriculture on cleared land in Vietnam

A woman in Quang Binh farms crops on land made safe by MAG.

Photo: Sean Sutton/MAG

The problems

Why MAG is in Vietnam

Four decades after the end of the war, Vietnam is still heavily contaminated by unexploded ordnance (UXO), including cluster munitions. This deadly legacy of conflict forces communities to live without safety and blocks opportunities for development.

MAG works in Quang Tri and Quang Binh in central Vietnam – two of the most contaminated provinces in the country.

In these areas, where poverty rates are well above the national average and more than 80 per cent of the population rely on the land for agricultural activities to make a living, several hundred thousand UXO items remain.

This contamination prevents men, women and children from safely and productively using land to farm crops, and stops communities from undertakinginfrastructure projects. Parents not only live in fear of their children finding cluster munitions and other deadly items while playing outside, but also risk their own lives to farm their land.

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How MAG is helping in Vietnam

Since 1999, MAG’s work in Vietnam has supported vulnerable communities, improving safety and aiding the implementation of development projects through the removal and destruction of the threat. 

MAG listens to the needs of communities, removing and destroying cluster munitions and other items of UXO from vital productive land. By doing this, we are making it safe for families to grow food crops; build homes, schools, health clinics; and carry out other infrastructure projects free from danger and fear.

MAG conducts a range of activities to achieve its goal of improving community safety and facilitating socio-economic development. These include:

• Clearance of cluster munition strike sites or contaminated areas that have planned development projects. More than 80 per cent of tasks in Vietnam require the use of vegetation cutting teams, which include both mechanical and manual assets, increasing the efficiency of the clearance activities.

• Delivery of risk education to children and farmers, two of the most under-threat groups in society.

• Implementation of non-technical and technical survey to cancel suspected contaminated land, to enable its immediate use by communities as well as identify areas where clearance is needed.

• Deployment of Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams, which respond to requests to remove items of UXO that pose an immediate threat to community safety.

Since late 2013, MAG has worked in partnership with Norwegian People’s Aid to develop an Integrated Survey and Clearance Project in Quang Tri. The aim of this project is to survey and clear the province of all its remaining high-impact cluster munition contamination by 2020.

Beneficiary of MAG's work in Vietnam

“MAG has helped to clear my land, so that I can plant pepper trees and earn a living. We will use the additional income to send our children to school.”  Nguyen Dinh Thu, with his wife, in Quang Tri.

Photo: MAG Vietnam