Quelle: Irish Times
The village of Ban Napia in the Xieng Khuang province of Laos has become a tourist destination in recent years. It’s not because the village is particularly pretty, or has any of the ancillary services often associated with tourists, such as bars and restaurants. Yet it’s routinely included on the itinerary of most tours that go out of Phonsavan, the nearest large town.
Ban Napia, which is made up of 42 wooden houses, most of them located either side of one dusty street, has become known as “Spoon Village”. There is a huge volume of shrapnel that is gathered daily during unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance in Laos.
Between 1964 and 1973, the United States dropped more than 270 million bombs on the country, much of it in an attempt to prevent supplies being taken into Vietnam. Some 80 million of these remain unexploded in the ground. Despite a painstaking clearance process that involves some 3,000 people on any given day in Laos, civilians continue to be killed and maimed by UXO.
The rest are live devices: among them, cluster bombs, mortars and grenades
Each province has a different policy for retrieved shrapnel. Some 95 per cent of what the UXO companies find during clearance of fields and villages is shrapnel. The rest are live devices: among them, cluster bombs, mortars and grenades. These are destroyed at the end of each day with controlled explosions.
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