[health-vn] Van Kieu family faces tragic Tet as cluster bomb explosion kills father of six
Project_RENEW at mail.vresp.com
Mon Feb 15 02:30:06 EST 2010
Dakrong, Quang Tri (12 Feb 2010)- There will be no Tet celebrations to
welcome the Lunar New Year for Ho Van Nguyen’s family this year. A
cluster bomb explosion killed Nguyen on Friday morning, Feb. 12, as he
was cutting weeds around his banana trees and preparing for the Tet
holiday which began in Vietnam on Saturday.
The accident occurred in Mai Lanh Village, Mo O Commune of Dakrong
District, which is in the western part of Quang Tri Province, along
the former wartime DMZ.
The 40-year-old father of six daughters left home after breakfast on
Friday morning. His wife said Nguyen took with him his favorite
farming tool, a bush-hook. About 10:30 a.m. there was an explosion
from the direction of his family’s hillside slash-and-burnt farm plot
along the Dakrong River. It is believed that Nguyen hit a cluster
munition while clearing weeds from around his banana trees, using the
bush-hook. The area where he was working is a large cultivation site
for over half of the 1800 Van Kieu minority people who reside in Krong
Klang Townlet. Bananas, cassava, and maize are the major sources of
income for local residents there.
Mr. Ho Van Hoi, Nguyen’s uncle, heard the explosion and was the first
to rush to the accident scene. When he arrived, he saw his nephew
lying lifeless on the ground. Both his hands were severed, his eyes
were badly damaged, and the skin was scorched from the chest up to the
face of the victim. Click here: Project RENEW Photo storage to see
the photos of this tragic accident.
On the eve of Tet, Nguyen’s tragic death suddenly thrusts his family
into extreme difficulties. His wife and six daughters, the youngest
only three years old, are facing shock and grief, and an uncertain
future. The family’s emotional tragedy is compounded by the loss of
their only breadwinner, who also supported his aging parents.
“I married twice but have only that son,” lamented Nguyen’s father,
Mr. Ho Van Mong, who was a guerrilla fighter during the Vietnam war.
“How can I live on without him?”
News of the accident immediately was passed on by Project RENEW staff
to Clear Path International (CPI) and PeaceTrees Vietnam (PTVN), two
NGO projects which provide direct emergency support to UXO accident
victims and their families in Quang Tri Province. PTVN also fields an
explosive ordnance disposal team (EOD team) in Dakrong District which
was launched in September 2009.
“Our team has destroyed thousands of UXO since our deployment in
Dakrong,” said Pham Thi Hoang Ha, PTVN In-Country Project Manager.
“However, there are still a lot of UXO that need to be removed.”
According to a Landmine Impact Survey conducted by BOMICEN/VVAF,
Dakrong District has the highest level of UXO contamination anywhere
in the country: 97% of its land area is confirmed to be contaminated
by explosive ordnance.
President of the local Red Cross Association, Ms. Le Thi Lam Hoa,
said the area where the accident occurred, Mai Lanh Village, had been
reclaimed from virgin land in 1982 for resettling ethnic minority
families who were dislocated by the war. “Another accident in that
area killed two men in 1985,” said Ms. Hoa. The victim’s father said
the area was heavily bombed during wartime, and he had witnessed a
large number of cluster bomb dispensers falling to the earth which
failed to function.
Since the war ended in 1975, more than a third of the 105,000
casualties in Vietnam have been caused by cluster munitions, called
“bombies” or guava bombs by the local ethnic minority people.
Project RENEW is still raising funds to continue our demining work in
Quang Tri Province. Make your donation today to help remove explosive
remnants of war and build lives for affected people.
(1) If, for tax purposes, you need to pass the money along to a
501(c)(3) under the I.R.S. code, the funds will have to go through
VVMF. For more information, check out this link:
(2) Send a check to:
Project RENEW Coordination Office
103 Nguyen Binh Khiem St.
Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province, Vietnam
Ngo Xuan Hien – Public Relations and Development Officer
(3) Bank transfer
Account Name:RENEW Donor
Bank Address:ANZ Bank, Hanoi Branch, 14 Le Thai To St.
Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
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