During the past 10 years (from 1961 to 1971), the US military had sprayed more than 80 million liters of toxic chemicals, including 61 percent of AO containing 366 kilograms of dioxin, on nearly one fourth area of Southern Vietnam. Over 3 million hectares of forest, mountain, fields and almost 26,000 hamlets, villages in Vietnam had been sprayed with the deadly toxic chemicals.
To date, there are still a number of “hot spots” of dioxin contamination. Close to 5 million people have been exposed to AO/dioxin, about 3 million of whom were victims of AO/dioxin, many were second and third generations of AO victims. In Binh Thuan, the chemical toxics had been sprayed on 166,472 hectares, accounting for 21 percent of the whole province’s area. Nearly 6,000 indigenous people were infected and exposed to AO/dioxin. Almost all of whom were cadres, soldiers, young pioneers, firing-line conscripted laborers and people living in the chemical-sprayed areas.
As the role of leadership, the local party and government have paid in-depth care to the matters of AO/dioxin for years. Particularly, the provincial authorities have spent billions of dongs on projects of health care, rehabilitation, vocational training and special assistance in some AO/dioxin-seriously-affected areas. Additionally, monthly allowance, totaling dozens of billions of dongs have been disbursed to victims of AO/dioxin.
Addressing the ceremony, vice chairman Nguyen Duc Hoa cited the provincial association for Victims of AO/dioxins for their high performance and dedication in caring the AO victims. Mr. Hoa urged the executive committee of party hierarchies, governments, bodies, unions and fronts to boost propaganda on caring the AO victims, facilitate the activities of the AO associations, get many more community join the program towards the disadvantaged and keep on building models in favor of AO victims.
My Thien (Source: Binh Thuan Newspaper)