Vietnam’s Air Defense Airforce Command and the US Agency for International Development launched a dioxin remediation project at Bien Hoa Airbase on April 20, the largest remaining hotspot of dioxin contamination in the country.
At the project launching ceremony.
The project will remediate high-risk areas over an estimated ten-year period using treatment and isolation methods similar to those used at Danang Airport, the US Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City said in a press release.
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink, and many other representatives from both sides joined the launch ceremony to highlight the importance of Vietnam - US efforts to deepen the Vietnam - US comprehensive partnership by addressing legacies of war.
In partnership with the Vietnamese Government, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) completed an assessment in 2016 of dioxin contamination at the Bien Hoa Airbase, the primary dioxin storage and handling site during the war.
The assessment identified almost 500,000 cubic meters of dioxin contaminated soil and sediment in need of remediation – almost four times the volume that was remediated at the Danang Airport.
Following the assessment, the USAID signed agreements with the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense in early 2018 for an initial five-year, US$183 million commitment to the Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Area Project.
As an important pillar of the Vietnam - US comprehensive partnership, both countries continue to cooperate on the humanitarian mission of accounting for personnel still missing from the war, and resolve wartime legacy issues including the removal of unexploded ordnance, support for persons with disabilities, and the remediation of dioxin - including the November 2018 completion of the six-year, $110 million Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contamination at Danang Airport Project.
The same day, the USAID and the Office of the Standing Board for the Vietnam National Committee on the Settlement of Post-War Unexploded Ordnance and Toxic Chemical Consequences (Office 701), signed a memorandum of intent that will improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities in seven targeted Vietnamese provinces, including Quang Tri, Thua Thien - Hue, Quang Nam, Binh Dinh, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, and Tay Ninh.
Over the next five years, both sides will team up with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs; the Ministry of Health; and other stakeholders to provide direct care, build the capacity of the rehabilitation sector, and develop community level social services.