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					UXO Vulnerability and
 Poverty Eradication
               ERI, STEA, Lao PDR


 Sub-regional Conference on Poverty Environment Nexus,
         June 21 – 22, 2006, Vientiane, Lao PDR




                                                         1
  22% of villages in Lao PDR are
    contaminated with UXOs
    Percent of Villages in District Having UXO problems


UXO problem                               High UXO problem




                                                             2
   Approximately 580,000 aerial bombing
    missions dropped over two million tonnes
    of explosive ordnance.

   Around 30% of explosives failed to
    function

   15 of the country’s 18 provinces were
    significantly contaminated

   22% of villages reported a presence of
    UXO

   Over 50% of all agricultural land

                                               3
     Numbers of UXOs found by villagers during
     their daily activity within a year in 6 villages
Village               Number of UXOs found per year
Pak Xay                                500
La Kai                               1,800
Kroung                              13,000
Bak                                 10,000
Ta Lang Mai                          3,800
Trak                                10,000




                                                        4
    UXO contamination is correlated with
          higher district poverty
   UXO contamination is one of the main causes of poverty
    and restricts the local potentials to increase their livelihood
    condition.
                                                                                         Central Region
    Southern Region


                                                                                                           70%
                       80%
                                                                                                           60%
                       70%
                       60%                                                                                 50%

                       50%                                                                                 40%

                       40%                                                                                 30%
                       30%
                                                                                                           20%
                       20%
                                                                                                           10%
                       10%
                        0%                                                                                  0%
                                                                                                                                            Moderately
                              Least Poor   Less Poor                                                              Least Poor   Less Poor                         Poorest
                                                        Poor Disticts Poorest Disticts                                                        Poor Poor Disticts
                               Districts    Districts                                                              Districts    Districts                        Disticts
                                                                                                                                             Districts
     % of Villages Affected      52%          50%           52%             73%          % of Villages Affected      5%           26%          38%       61%        64%     5
Correlation between UXO Contamination and Key Indicators 1995 - 98

     0.8

     0.6

     0.4

     0.2

      0

    -0.2

    -0.4

    -0.6

    -0.8
              No       Death rate Rural pop Paddy area Poverty     Surface   No toilet
           Education               density   per rural Incidence    water
                                              capita

                                          South   Central                                6
Many remote districts in the South are mostly populated by small
ethnic groups with special difficulties (Lao Theung)

UXOs are an additional issue they have to cope with

Shares of total population in 6 villages in Kaleum district

               Trak, 187 people,               Pak Xay, 160
                      18%                      people, 16%




                                                      La Kai, 148 people,
                                                              15%

         Ta Lang Mai, 224
           people, 22%


                                                  Kroung, 152
                                                  people, 15%
                            Bak, 147 people,
                                  14%

                                                                            7
In Kaleum, high contamination is
around district town


 Selected
 Villages: Pak
 Xay, La Kai,
 Kroung, Bak,
 Proy, Trak




                                   8
   In UXO affected villages, swidden agriculture is
   often one of the least dangerous activities
Where are UXOs in villages? What do they generate?

  – In swiddens: limited risk because UXOs explode when fire and no
    plowing

  – In paddy fields: Risk when plowing, impossible to open new paddy
    field unless decontamination

  – Along rivers: Risk when fishing and river water use and collection

  – In village center & along roads: Risk in daily activities, eg. cooking,
    impossible to build new school unless decontamination

  – In forests: Limited risks, because people know location
                                                                       9
    UXO impact nowadays is less risks of
    accident than limitations of livelihoods


   Since the first mission of UXO LAO officials
    in late 1997, UXO caused accidents have
    significantly reduced. However, villagers are
    still having a high UXO risks.




                                                10
          There are new villages in UXO-affected
                    areas in the South
Village    Original or new    Original villages     Year of      Distance       Reason of immigration
               immigrated                             immigr         from
                                                       ation       original
Pak Xay     New removed      A Lem and Cha Ang       1975      3 days by foot   Avoiding from slope area
                                                                                    and there was some
                                                                                    degree of UXO risks.



La Kai        Original


Kroung      New removed            Ta Xing           2003       15 minutes      Follow Resettlement plan
                                                                                      of Kaleum District


Bak         New removed        Houay Pak Xai         1973      15 minutes


Proy        New removed      Proy Neua, Proy Tai,    2003      15 minutes       Follow Resettlement plan
                                 Lang Kong                                            of Kaleum District


                                                                                                 11
Trak          Origional
       Village community                        are       looking         for      alternative
       livelihood sources
Village               1           2             3              4             5                6
                                                                              Migrated
                      Migrated
                                                                               recently
                        from                        Migrated
                                                                 Migrated        from
                        east,           Old           from                                          Old
New or old village                                             from nearby     nearby,
                      consolida       village        nearby                                       village
                                                                  village    consolidate
                         ted                         village
                                                                                    d
                       village
                                                                                village
                      Low/Mod     Moderat                                                     Moderate
UXO impact                                       Moderate          High          Severe
                        erate       e                                                          /High
                                  Seasona
                      Paddy &                                   NTFPs
                                     l               Metal                                     Gold
             Today    livestock                                Outmigratio   Metal scrap
Livelihood                        migratio           scrap                                    panning
                          dvt                                      n
s                                    n
             Tomorr                                                                               Paddy
                                  Sawmill           Tourism                     Fruit trees
             ow                                                                                    dvt


      Villagers have adapted to UXO contamination over the last
       3 - 4 decades
                                                                                                   12
                Recommendations

   UXO clearance can only be very slow but
    deserves increased international assistance as a
    win-win poverty environment solution.

   In UXO affected districts, diversified income
    generation should be supported

   Improved rural water supply is an important need
    in UXO affected villages

   Resettlement policy in UXO affected areas
    (South) should take full account of risks related
    to UXOs

                                                        13

				
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