The Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Problem
More than 580 000 bombing missions were carried out over Laos between 1964 and 1973. Over two million tons of bombs were dropped, making Laos the most heavily bombed country in the world.
It is estimated that up to 30 per cent of these munitions failed to explode. Even today, they continue to threaten the lives and well being of Lao people.
Cluster sub-munitions or ‘bombies’ are the most common form of unexploded ordnance (UXO) remaining. Over 50 000 people have been killed or injured since 1964.
There are at least 300 new casualties each year, and 40 per cent of these are children.
All 17 provinces in Lao PDR are still affected by UXO. Twenty-five per cent of all villages in Lao are reported to be contaminated with UXO and over a third of all agricultural land remains affected. Many villagers are forced to take risks every day as they walk in uncleared areas or work in dangerous fields. As a result, many people live in acute poverty and suffer chronic malnutrition.