Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the indiscriminate use of deadly weapons of war, including cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war (ERW), is showcasing, in real-time, the devastation that war brings to a country and the terrible reality of the use of explosive ordnance. Across the globe, ERW threaten people’s lives and livelihoods every day. In 2020, 7,073 casualties due to landmines and other ERW were recorded across 56 states (and other non-state territories). In addition to the physical threat they pose to people’s lives, the presence of explosive ordnance blocks access to critical resources like clean water and farmland, and hinders social and economic development opportunities, further perpetuating poverty rooted in the impact of war.

PeaceTrees Vietnam knows the devastation that war brings to a country and its long-lasting impacts on the health, safety, and prosperity of all people. PeaceTrees works every day to clean up deadly explosive remnants of a war that ended nearly 46 years ago.

Over the past 26 years, and in partnership with communities and provincial leadership, PeaceTrees has worked to support sustainable and prosperous futures for people in central Vietnam. Through our mine action program, PeaceTrees deminers have returned over 4,712 acres of safe land to communities and have found and destroyed over 136,000 ERW. They have also educated over 289,000 people on the risks of explosive ordnance through PeaceTrees explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) program. In addition to restoring safety to war-impacted communities, this work has been a necessary precursor for the social and economic development of the province. Without access to safe land, farmers are prevented from safely tending to their land, children are put in danger on their walks to and from school, and other NGOs and community-led organizations are unable to safely deliver their services.

Read the full article about mine action by Carlie Stowe at Global Washington.