Demining Laos: ‘what my team do can save many people’s lives’

For almost four years, Phouviengsavanh “Toui” Keosouphan, 39, has worked to clear Laos’ plague of unexploded ordnance (UXO). Laos has the distinction of being the most heavily bombed nation on the planet per capita, with 29,000 people killed and 21,000 injured by deadly leftover devices from the Vietnam War era. He works with Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), a humanitarian relief organisation that’s been active in Laos since 1997

Because there is so much contamination in Laos, the first step is to find and map areas that are contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO). We do this through a process called “cluster munition remnants survey”, or CMRS. NPA teams visit a village and ask the local community for information on where UXOs might be, and then use metal detectors to do a rapid search of the area. This process allows us to produce a rough map outlining a “confirmed hazardous area”.

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Source: Southeast Asia Globe