The UXO Lao is anticipating a drop in funding support from international donors.

Introduction: The Lao National Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Programme (UXO Lao) is anticipating a drop in funding support from international donors.

Story: According to the UXO Project Board Meeting in Vientiane UXO Lao had been in a funding crisis since the middle of last year. The organisation employs 83 teams of people who detect and remove unexploded munitions. Last year 19 teams were temporarily suspended owing to the shortage of money.

The message to donors was that more than 13 billion kip is needed to reinstate these 19 teams.

In another cutback, UXO risk education teams in six provinces had to discontinue their work for three months last year, breaking off from their work in several villages.

UXO Lao’s target is to clear unexploded ordnance from 3,490 hectares of land, but only 3,080 hectares have been cleared due to a lack of funding. Some 6,680 devices were detonated or otherwise deactivated during clearance operations.

About 75 percent of the land cleared by UXO Lao is required for agriculture while the rest will be used for various development projects.

This year UXO Lao plans to ask international donors for 72.3 billion kip.

In the future, UXO Lao and other non-government organisations plan to survey each area before starting any clearance work.

It is hoped these surveys will show which areas of land need to be cleared and which are free of UXO.

Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on March 19, 2015