Monday, April 07, 2008

bomb awareness day

bomb awareness day, originally uploaded by c_p_lew.

4 April is the "International Land Mine Awareness Day." All the agencies involved with landmine/ UXO action joined together for a program and exhibition about the continuing impact of these munitions, even nearly 40 years after they were dropped.

Laos is one of the most heavily bombed countries in the world, with over two million of ordnance dropped between 1964 through 1973, mostly as air support for ground actions and also to try to cut off the routes of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Landmines were not used very much in Laos - mostly around old army camps; however, unexploded ordnance continues to injure and kill people every year.

The most common type of ordnance causing these injuries are cluster bombs, which are about the size of a softball. Up to 30% did not explode when they were dropped - and they can explode if they are hit with a hoe or picked up and thrown by a child.

This is a picture of part of the exhibit. The wheelchairs in the foreground are produced by the National Rehabilitation Center, which use a level for power. For my organization, we had stories of people whom we have helped with medical and income generation funds, as well as information about our education program on the danger of UXO. Other organizations provided information on clearance work they've been doing, rehabilitation, and different methods for informing people about how to stay safe.

There's now a world-wide movement to ban the production, use and stockpiling of cluster bombs, similar to the movement to ban landmines. More information

1 comment:

Texas Travelers said...

Very sad.
Good story.
Thanks for the information.