Our highlight in Vientiane was COPE (http://www.copelaos.org/index.php). the 45 minutes documentary was really shocking. In school we perhaps heard about the Vietnam War, but never that Laos is the most bombed country on the world .
In 1964 the US began its air war over Laos as the Vietnamese used Lao territory to infiltrate personnel and supplies into South Vietnam along what became known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail. We never had know until our visit at COPE, that
- More than 580,000 bombing missions were conducted over Laos, which equals one bombing mission every eight minutes, 24 hours a day for nine years!
- over 2 Million tons of ordnances were dropped over Lao PDR during the Vietnam War between 1964 and 1973
- More than 270 million bombies were dropped on Lao
- Approximately 80 million unexploded bombs were still lying after the war
- About 25% of all Lao villages are still contaminated with UXO (Unexploded Ordnance)
- More than 50,000 people have been killed or injured by UXO in the post-war period between 1974 and 2011 of which 40% are children!
- It will take more than 150 years to remove all UXO!
- Every day, one person gets injured. it is a life task to remove all the bombs in Laos.
|artwork made of cluster bombies|
|painting of a children|
|see description above|