landmines.org.vn – Ba Tơ, Quảng Ngãi (24 September 2019) — Project RENEW Coordination Office and representative of Quang Tri Mine Action Center (QTMAC) were present in Ba To District today for attending the final review of Mine Risk Education (MRE) program hosted by Quang Ngai Provincial Red Cross Association, with local representatives from Ba To District People’s Committee, relevant bureaus, Youth Unions and principals of schools.
From November 2018 to September 2019, Project RENEW has assisted Quang Ngai Red Cross Association to replicate the best practices of RENEW’s MRE model in Quang Ngai, initially piloted in the district of Ba Tơ. The pilot effort was launched with Irish Aid funding, in response to Quang Ngai’s request after QTMAC introduced the Quang Tri’s mine action model at a workshop convened on 21 Sep 2018 in Quang Ngai Province.
According to the Landmine Impact Survey by the Vietnam Ministry of National Defense, Quang Ngai was listed among 17 provinces with heavy impact of unexploded ordnance (UXO). The biggest district of Quang Ngai Province, Ba To District has a population of 61,000 inhabitants of whom H’re ethnic group accounts for 84%. U.S. bombing data indicates that Ba To suffered the most bombing strikes during wartime.
During the pilot period, the staff of Project RENEW’s MRE Program helped Quang Ngai Red Cross Association carry out training courses for commune cadres, school teachers and Red Cross volunteers in three communes of Ba Vi, Ba Vinh and Ba To Townlet, organize tours to Ba To Museum, school-based extra-curricular events and summer football games coupled with UXO safety messages for local school children.
Workshop participants acknowledged MRE activities in Ba To have helped local cadres better understand the importance of UXO safety messages. Local residents, particularly children, have been aware of UXO risks. In addition, they said that local authorities faced difficulty in receiving and handling UXO information because of limited capacity.
In the coming time, participants expressed their wish to receive continued support from Project RENEW to expand MRE skills for the core group of teachers, Youth Union officials and village volunteers for integrating UXO safety sessions for communities. In the context that Quang Ngai doesn’t have a mechanism to manage and handle UXO information, they requested that RENEW and other international mine action organizations consider building up Quang Ngai’s capacity to deal with UXO as well as provide assistance to UXO victims and persons with disabilities.
Project RENEW was established in 2001 as a joint effort between the government of Quang Tri Province and interested INGOs to “restore the environment and neutralize the effects of the war” – with the main focus on unexploded ordinance.