The US Government and MAG are assisting more communities in the provinces of Xieng Khouang and Khammouane to clear unexploded ordnance (UXO).
The US Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA) has provided MAG with over $1.5 million to conduct surveys in the targeted communities, deploy three new UXO clearance teams in Xieng Khouang, and continue the operations of a clearance team in Khammouane Province.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Wednesday 15 December in Vientiane between the National Regulatory Authority and MAG Lao PDR, attended by the United States Ambassador, Karen B Stewart.
Speaking at the ceremony, MAG Lao Country Programme Manager David Hayter said: “This funding will enable MAG to recruit four new Community Liaison teams to conduct village and beneficiary surveys in the targeted communities, deploy three new UXO clearance teams in Xieng Khouang, and continue to operate one existing clearance team in Khammouane Province.
"We strongly believed that this will maximize the number of opportunities for those communities and our development partners to implement their livelihood and infrastructure development with confidence and safety.
“MAG recognizes that simply clearing UXO does not automatically mean an end to the community’s problems."
Funded by WRA, the 'Integrated UXO and Development Action Project' will allow MAG to clear at least 360 hectares of UXO-contaminated land in 88 villages in both provinces.
This integrated project will have several positive outcomes at the community level. The removal of UXO will directly increase the amount of safe land available for implementation of MAG partner development activities as well as promoting food security and alternative livelihoods in the target communities
January 4 2011
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