Vientiane (VNA) – Laos will focus on reaching all expected goals on unexplodedordnance (UXO) clearance, especially the implementation of non-technicalsurveys for more than 3,800 UXO-affected villages in 2017, according the LaoNews Agency (KPL).
Theplan is to look for evidence of UXOs using non-technical surveys to facilitateclearance in focal development areas, developing projects and agriculturalareas.
“Wewill continue conducting a public campaign on UXO awareness, intending toreduce the number of UXO victims to fewer than 40 people annually and providingassistance, medical treatment, health rehabilitation and creating vocations for1,500 UXO-affected victims,” Minister of Labour and Social Welfare KhamxayXaysompheng said early this month to mark the International Day for MineAwareness and Assistance in Mine Action 2017.
Toachieve the above-mentioned expectations, the government must have an actionplan and determine its priorities, as well as contribute to financial supportin addition to the existing funds from international donors in accordance withreal situations, he added.
Accordingto the official, the government should also continue to call for financial supportfrom international organisations and country donors to conduct UXO clearanceprojects in the future so as to gradually clear the UXOs remaining in the country.
Between 1964 and 2008, about 300 people werereportedly killed by UXOs every year. Since 2009, this number has reduced to 50per year. UXOs still pose a threat to the livelihood of Lao people, especiallyin poverty-affected areas – 41 out of the 46 poorest districts in Laos areUXO-contaminated./.
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