Living with bombs in the time of peace

VietNamNet Bridge - Many people in Hong Van in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue still look for bombs and mines to sell as metal scrap, even though they risk injury or death.

Song cung bom dan thoi hien dai hinh anh

In the morning, children in Ka Cu 1 village of Hong Van commune, A Luoi District, Thua Thien – Hue Province climb up the mountain with a papoose on the back and a device to trace bomb pieces. Locals  earn their living by bomb scraps left by the war of over 30 years ago.


Song cung bom dan thoi hien dai hinh anh

The war scraps are both the "death" and "bread" of these people.


Song cung bom dan thoi hien dai hinh anh

Mr. Thiet, a local man, said his family, with four children, does not have land for cultivation so their lives depend on this mine detector.


Song cung bom dan thoi hien dai hinh anh

War scraps use metal detectors to find war scrap. Whenever the device sounds, they use hoes and shovels to dig up. 


Song cung bom dan thoi hien dai hinh anh

For every family in the village of Ka Cu, the bomb detector is the most valuable assets. The boy Ho Van Cuong is “harvesting” a piece of bomb with this instrument.


Song cung bom dan thoi hien dai hinh anh

After a hard working day, they put their war booty on the scale and seld it to a scrap trader.


Song cung bom dan thoi hien dai hinh anh

The house of Le Van Thiet and Can Val (Pa Co ethnic) in Ka Cu hamlet, Hong Van commune. The couple cannot use the metal detector anymore because both of them are affected by Agent Orange. One of their sons died upon digging up a 105 mm shell.


Song cung bom dan thoi hien dai hinh anh

Le Thi Kien, 18, a victim of shrapnel bomb. Kien is daughter of Thiet and Can Val. Kien caught the accident at the age of 16 years. She is one of the very rare people who escaped from the death while collecting war scrap. However, her both arms and  right leg were seriously injured while her eyesight was also affected.


Song cung bom dan thoi hien dai hinh anh

A big bomb in the garden of Mr. Quynh Tam in Ka Cu 1 hamlet. For him and other villagers, such bombs are "savings". Only when their families are in misery do they cut the bomb to collect metal to sell.


Song cung bom dan thoi hien dai hinh anh

People try to detect bombs on the road to Doc Meo (Cat Hill), the former fierce battlefield.


Song cung bom dan thoi hien dai hinh anh

Le Van Nga, one of the survivors of bomb blast.

Knowing that this is a dangerous job, the local people have no other job. 


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related news

The “bomb cutting village” in Quang Tri

Ha Giang: Sappers clear explosives in the peace time

Women who detect and clear bombs and mines 

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