UXO disposal in Mahaxay District

1. Background
      Lao PDR is the most heavily country, per capita, in history. Approximately 80 million unexploded cluster bomblets remained in Laos after the war. All 17 provinces of Laos suffer from UXO contamination. Over 50,000 people have been killed or injured as a result of UXO accidents in the period 1964 – 2008. UXO Lao (a national executed project of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and UNDP) is coordinating the UXO disposal in order to preserve safe living environments for local populations in UXO contaminated areas. Approximately 0.55% of UXO in Lao PDR were destroyed by UXO Lao from 1994 to 2010.  (Homepage of UXO Lao www.uxolao.org/)

      LPFL project area (Bolikhamxay Province and Khammouane Province) include some UXO contaminated area. One of the heavily UXO contaminated area is Mahaxay District in Khammouane Province. This area has potential for tree plantations, but the risk of UXO contamination is also high.

      LPFL decided to help implement UXO disposal in the area of plantations but through self funding. Total area of UXO disposal through LPFL funds, to date is 812 ha

2. Purpose
    ‹  To preserve the safety of local population and workers in/ surrounding plantations.
    ‹  To increase the amount of available land for production.

3. Method
      The area of UXO disposal is 812 ha and focused in the area of tree plantations, within the Mahaxay District. The clearance/disposal operation was implemented from February to October 2011.

      The search methods for the UXO, was comprised of three types of machines (Photo1). These machines are used to search at different depths; shallow search (25-30cm from surface), middle search (30-50cm from surface), deep search 
(50-80cm from surface). The UXO was disposed of by various means. Some were exploded/disposed of on site after securing the safety of local populations, other larger ordnance was removed from the sites.

4. Result
       341 pieces of unexploded ordnance were identified from 812 ha and cost of disposal UXO was more than 500 thousand USD for these areas. The most common type of ordnance found has been mainly Blu-3/B cluster bomblets amongst other types (Photo2).

       For local population and for the forest workers, LPFL has set up sign boards at the entrance of plantations cleared to understand the areas which were implemented UXO disposal. (Photo3). 

       The result of UXO disposal in the area of plantations

PL Name

HA

No. of UXO

Type of UXO

Term of UXO disposal

Elan

314.0

237

Blu-3/B

15/02/2011 - 28/05/2011

Phondeng

29.3

22

Blu-3/B, Mark 82

09/03/2011 - 25/03/2011

Kava

125.2

68

Blu-3/B

26/03/2011 - 06/06/2011

Thongkouang

124.6

4

Blu-26

11/07/2011 - 31/07/2011

Hainoua

141.7

7

Blu-26

01/08/2011 - 12/09/2011

Manh

77.1

3

M50

03/10/2011 - 17/10/2011

 Total

811.7

341

 

 

  Remark: Blu(Bomb Live Unit)-3/B and Blu-26 are submunition of cluster bomblet.
               Mark 82 is the graving bomb.
               M50 is the incendiary bomb.

 

    

               Photo1 Machine for UXO search                                                     Photo2 Blu 3B in Elan Plantation                                                     

                                                       Photo3 Sign board of UXO disposal area in Elan Plantation

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