Chemical clean up for Vietnam

2010-06-28 16:36
Hanoi - The United Nations announced a $5m project on Monday to clean up wartime contamination in Vietnam caused by 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, near the fast-developing southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City. The UN's resident co-ordinator, John Hendra, said it was the worst-affected site.

Experts have also identified two other former US air bases, at Danang and Phu Cat, as "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 foliage during the Vietnam War in order to deprive communist Viet Cong forces of cover and food.

Serious health risk

Vietnam blames the dioxin for a spate of birth deformities and it has also 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."

Cleaning up all three former air bases would cost an estimated $59m, most of which still needs to be committed, said Koos Neefjes, an adviser on dioxin to the UN in Hanoi.

The Vietnamese government has already spent $5m building a 4h landfill that holds contaminants at Bien Hoa.

Project to last 3-4 years

Under the new project, contaminated soil at smaller sites elsewhere at the airport will be destroyed using technology that has been used successfully elsewhere, although not with such high levels of dioxin, Neefjes told AFP.

The project is expected to last three or four years.

Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will carry out the project, funded by the UNDP along with the Global Environment Facility, an independent financial organisation.

Since 2007, the US Congress has appropriated $9m to help the Vietnam clean-up and related health activities. At Vietnam's request, the US is focusing help on the Danang site, where preparatory work has been underway and the actual clean-up is expected to begin next year.
 

Read more on:    un  |  us  |  vietnam
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

The craziest deaths of 2014

Here are eight of the year's craziest and most freakish deaths.

 
 

I love summer.24

How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.