No more potential risks of dioxin exposure for 170,000 people
19 March 2015
- Ha Noi 19 March 2015 - There are no longer potential risks of dioxin exposure for about 170,000 people living near Bien Hoa airbase and in the vicinity of Phu Cat airbase in the south and centre of Viet Nam, respectively.
This was announced by the Office of National Steering Committee (Office 33) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Viet Nam at the closing workshop for the project “Environmental remediation of dioxin contaminated hotspots in Viet Nam”, which was funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) via UNDP.
The project has been implemented since 2010 with more than US$5 million, with the bulk from GEF (nearly US$5 million) and US$76,000 from the Czech Republic. It aimed to minimize the disruption of ecosystems and health risks for people in contaminated hotspots - Bien Hoa, Da Nang and Phu Cat airbases.
Key result of the project, as shared at the workshop, is the containment of over 7,500-m3 dioxin contaminated soil using the technology that ensures safety pursuant to international standards at Phu Cat airbase, Binh Dinh province. Phu Cat airbase has since been removed from the dioxin hotspot list in Viet Nam.
The project has helped, among other things, developed the Master Plan for Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa airbase, and constructed interim measure facilities at Bien Hoa airbase to prevent the spreading of dioxins into the surrounding environment. It has also conducted risk reduction communication activities to raise awareness of the communities living near the hotspots and mitigate potential risks of dioxin exposure for them.
Addressing the workshop, UNDP Deputy Country Director Mr Bakhodir Burkhanov praised the project’s communication work and stressed the importance of risks reduction communications targeting local population. “Reaching out to communities with critical messages on safe practices and behaviours is as important as the ongoing containment efforts,” he said. “Accurate information, awareness-raising and advocacy will go a long way towards limiting dioxin-related consequences to people’s health and livelihoods”.
The project coordinated and improved the effectiveness of other activities relating to researching and overcoming the consequences of Agent Orange/dioxins in Viet Nam. Specifically, it helped Office 33 as a focal point in coordination with other national and international stakeholders such as the Ministry of Defense, provincial department of natural resources and environment and department of health; USAID; Czech Republic; Sweden SIDA; Korea; and Japan.
In his speech at the workshop, Dr. Nguyen The Dong, General Director of Office 33, Deputy Director of Viet Nam Environmental Administration, said: "The project has successfully obtained the designed objectives and made significant scientific and practical contribution to researching and overcoming the complicated and long term consequences of Agent Orange/dioxins in Viet Nam".
The project was implemented by Office 33 under direct coordination with the UNDP office in Viet Nam. Results of annual audit show that there are no significant violation of related rules in project management and financing.
Independent Terminal Evaluation of the project confirmed the project’s achievements. The project results have been handed over to the Ministry of Defence, Office 33/ the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Dong Nai Department of Natural Resources and Environment and a number of relevant organizations and authorities for future continuation & utilization, maintenance and management in accordance with their functions as assigned by the Government.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Nguyen My Hang, Project Manager;
email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: +84-4-37736354 or
Ms. Nguyen Viet Lan, communications officer;
email: email@example.com; phone: +84-4-38224383 (121)