Support from many sides…
The population of the district is about 48,000 people, but there are more than 4,000 victims of agent orange. Many children are 3rd and 4th generation victims, born with disabilities as a result of Agent Orange. Particularly in Dong Son commune where A So airbase is located, there are 394 households with a population of nearly 1500 people. Among those there are more than 400 people suspected of Agent Orange infection, 40 of whom are enjoying the policies of Agent Orange victim. All of them belong poor households. Their lives are in extreme difficulties.
Gradually, with specific projects, the residues of toxic chemicals are being remedied at A Luoi. In order to avoid the harmful effects of dioxin, the project to clean up soil and water in A Luoi has been implemented by the Government at all levels for many years. The clean water system for people has been invested more than 1.2 billion dong. Thua Thien - Hue province and A Luoi district have also organized resettlement for people in A Dot, Huong Lam and Dong Son communes far away from A So airport, and planted black locust trees around the airbase to limit the harmful effects of dioxin, contributing to greening the land. Along with that, propaganda was promoted, helping local people aware of the harmful effects of dioxin, thereby not conducting farming in contaminated areas.
In particular, in order to soon restore the ecosystem and protect people's health in the mountainous district of A Luoi, in October 2020, the Chemical Command was tasked by the Ministry of National Defense, to implement the project "Dioxin remediation at A So airport in A Luoi district, Thua Thien Hue province” with a total budget of more than 70 billion VND, to treat the volume of contaminated soil 35,000m3 (of which about 6,600m3 of soil has contaminated concentration of over 200ppt - a very high level of pollution), helping the people of A Luoi district feel secure to live and develop their economy. The project was implemented in 2 years (2020-2022).
In addition, many socio-cultural programs have also been implemented in A Luoi. Program 135 with the goal of sustainable poverty reduction, improving living standards, increasing income, has provided accommodation for 217 households. Households with people infected with Agent Orange receive monthly allowances. People have access to health, education and cultural services, vocational training support, and job promotion. In 5 years (2015-2020), more than 160 people have received vocational training, many of which have found jobs after training. A Luoi District People's Committee also built the Chemical War Remnants Exhibition House at A So airport and received visitors since 2016…
… and the efforts of the association for the victims
Mr. Ho Sy Binh, Chairman of A Luoi District's association for victims of Agent Orange/dioxin said: In order to help households overcome difficulties, the district association has asked for donation and received support from organizations, benevolent social organizations and individuals in order to support and assist AO victims.
The district association mobilized nearly 95 million VND, 117 million VND, and more than 400 million VND in 2015, 2016 and 2019, respectively. Especially in 2020, with the support of a Swiss organization, the district association has built 9 houses, with a total cost of more than 100 million VND/house for victims in difficult circumstances. 700 victims receive monthly allowances and health insurance cards. In the past 5 years, the district association and 17/18 communes and towns have mobilized and presented nearly 3,300 gifts worth nearly 970 million VND for the victims. In particular, the district association has coordinated to implement many projects effectively. In particular, it coordinated with the district’s Association for the disable and orphans to implement the ADC project for people with disabilities and AO victims with a budget of 166,000,000 VND; coordinated with the Association for the elderly of Hue City and the Association for the elderly of A Luoi district to implement the Swiss ABZ project to build houses of love for the old AO victims in the communes of Hong Van, Trung Son, A Ngo, Lam Dot, each of which worth 103,500,000 VND, and total 931,000,000 VND. The association also cooperated with hospitals and medical centers to provide free medical examination and medicine for hundreds of victims; gives hundreds of gifts on holidays, New Year, August 10 every year, contributing to encouraging victims and their families to overcome difficulties and stabilize their lives. Over the past 5 years, the Association has coordinated with the Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs to promptly investigate and grasp the situation of the victims; proposed timely settlement of benefits for severe victims of difficult circumstances. Out of 1427 people suspected of being infected with toxic chemicals, 760 ones have been entitled to the policies for the AO victims…
With the cooperation of all levels, branches, forces, organizations and benefactors in overcoming the consequences of toxic chemicals in A Luoi district, it is hoped that this land will soon revive and people’s living standards there in general and that of AO victims in particular will be increasingly improved.