Pic of the Day: 12 November 2013

Pong Tuek village in Cambodia

< Pic of the Day: 11 November 2013

Pong Tuek village, eastern Cambodia, September 2013

Between 1965 and 1973, 2.7 million tons of ordnance was dropped in eastern Cambodia – more than the Allies dropped in World War Two. Many of the explosive weapons did not detonate when they were used, and continue to take lives and stifle development.

In June 2013, a new MAG Battle Area Clearance team deployed to Pong Tuek village, where local residents had found two cluster munitions and a 60mm mortar shell while farming near a Buddhist pagoda site. The pagoda stands in the centre of the village, surrounded by a community of 1,600 who survive largely on agricultural activities.

The MAG team cleared 11,996m² of land, finding and destroying six unexploded ordnance items. Once the land was made safe, the area was handed back to the community at a ceremony on 20 September 2013. Pictured above at the handover are Battle Area Clearance team staff, with young monks and local children.

"I’m so glad MAG cleared this land and provided us with our safety again," said Siphan Lign, the village chief. "We use this place for worship and for all our traditional ceremonies, so the safety of the people and our monks was so very important for us. Now the worry is taken from off our backs."

Add your voice

comments powered by Disqus