UN in $5m Agent Orange cleanup for Viet Nam
As published in AFP on 28/6/2010
Ha Noi - The United Nations on Monday announced a five-million-dollar project to clean up wartime contamination in Vietnam from Agent Orange sprayed by the US military, but said much more money was needed.
The project by the UN development agency will focus on contamination at the airport in Bien Hoa, which the UN's resident coordinator, John Hendra, said was the worst-affected site. Experts have also identified two other former US air bases, at Danang and Phu Cat, as key "hotspots" of dioxin contamination. Dioxin was a component of Agent Orange and other herbicides stored at the bases.
US aircraft sprayed the chemicals to strip trees of their foliage during the Vietnam War, depriving communist Viet Cong forces of cover and food. Vietnam blames dioxin for a spate of birth deformities, and it has been linked to cancer.
"The concentration of dioxin in the three main hotspots is much higher than nationally and internationally agreed standards," the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said in a statement.
"Without action, the hotspots will continue to contaminate the wider environment and pose a serious health risk to people living and working nearby," it said.
Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will carry out the project, funded by UNDP along with the Global Environment Facility, an independent financial organisation. "The project will use internationally proven techniques to treat and rehabilitate the dioxin hotspots," the UNDP statement said, adding that "significantly more funds will be needed for the full remediation of all dioxin hotspots in Vietnam”.
A Vietnamese official said last year that the government had already spent five million dollars to build a landfill for contaminants at Bien Hoa, which is located near the fast-developing southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City. Decontaminating all three former bases could cost about 60 million dollars or more, the official said.
Since 2007, the US Congress has appropriated nine million dollars to help in the clean-up in Vietnam. At Vietnam's request, the United States is focusing its help on the Danang site, where operations are expected to begin next year.
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- It's #WaterWednesday!!! So I figured I'd take you all back with me to Nairobi in 2014... Just outside of the Kibera Slums. These water tank trucks line the streets for miles - boasting clean water, but they're all still contaminated with water- & vector-borne diseases and communicable illnesses.��Like in many other slums, shantytowns, and informal settlements around the world, water is scarce, costly, uncertain, and VERY contaminated in Kibera, Nairobi. Due to a combination of political exclusion, the operation of water mafias, water rationing, and poor infrastructure, residents of Kibera pay MORE for water than wealthier Kenyans in tapped neighborhoods of Nairobi, and more than even what Europeans and New Yorkers pay (Crow and Odaba 2009; World Bank 2005) - all on an income of less than $1 US/day. Kibera households spend up to 20% of their income on water—which can be equal to the cost of their rent (United Nations Development Programme - UNDP 2006). In working with local and international engineers, & community activists our #EveryDropCounts initiative has built wells, filters, & water distribution services in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, the Philippines, Haiti, Peru, Bangladesh, & India. We aim to provide sustainable wells & filters for communities in need across the globe - access to clean drinking water is an internationally recognized human right. �Wishing each of you beautiful beings peace, love, unity, & respect. Join the movement and be the change you wish to see in the world. 📸: Lauren Nicole Keyes #EveryDropCounts #BeTheChange #CleanWater #WaterIs #HumanRight #Kibera #Contamination #Collection #GlobalGoals #SocialGood #CleanWater #Sustainability #GrowthAndDevelopment #Advocate #Empower #Inspire #BeTheChange #Peace #Love #Unity #Respect #PLUR #PLURnt #Grassroots #SocEnt #Philanthropy #Success #BTCInternational #SocialMedia #SocialMediaMarketing 6 hours ago
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