Massive land area awaiting UXO clearance
Much work remains to be done in Laos to remove unexploded ordnance (UXO), which continues to be a huge threat to human life and an obstacle to development. Representatives from the government and development partners spoke about this persistent scourge at an event held in Vientiane on April 4 to mark this year’s International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Dr Khampheng Saysompheng noted that Laos was the most heavily bombed country in the world per capita. More than 580,000 flights dropped around 3 million tonnes of bombs on Lao territory during the nine years of the war (1964-1973). Some 270 million of the dropped bombs were cluster munitions (bombies), and four million were larger munitions.