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.
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.
The war scraps are both the "death" and "bread" of these people.
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.
War scraps use metal detectors to find war scrap. Whenever the device sounds, they use hoes and shovels to dig up.
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.
After a hard working day, they put their war booty on the scale and seld it to a scrap trader.
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.
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.
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.
People try to detect bombs on the road to Doc Meo (Cat Hill), the former fierce battlefield.
Le Van Nga, one of the survivors of bomb blast.
Knowing that this is a dangerous job, the local people have no other job.