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Vietnam’s unique female team reclaims mine-contaminated land

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Even though the extremely bad weather in the dry land in Quang Tri Province, the MAT19-a group of 13 women have absorbedly cleared unexploded bombs left from the war to keep the safety of the site and to protect the communities surrounding it.

Vietnam’s unique female team reclaims mine-contaminated land

Established in October, 2018, the group is the only female team of the nongovernmental organization, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), not including a male driver.
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Two members of the female landmines clearance team walk in an impact area measuring 50m x 50m that is divided into numerous furrows and use mine clearance operator to search and detect UXO.
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Members of the MAT19 are working in Kim Long village in Hai Lang District’s Hai Que Commune.
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They usually face with extreme weather conditions, such as record heat and severe thunderstorm.

Truong Thi Thu Van, 26, the youngest member of the female landmines clearance team, said that she has spent two years in working landmine clearing.

In this dangerous work, there is no chance for people to correct any mistakes that can cause them to lose their lives, Van added.
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Members of the landmine clearance team note locations of warning signs and seek their centers by using handheld mine detector.
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Landmine clearance activities must be very carefully because of the much of the danger of cluster bombs.
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After determining the location of cluster bombs which will be reinforced by bags of sand, the squad will explode bombs at the end of the working day.
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MAT19 is the unique female landmine clearance team under MAG. All members are always to assist others to complete the work and ensure the safety.
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Rest breaks at work
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Gathering large-size UXO items for the explosion
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The job enables women to have a stable life and their kids have a chance to go to school. They have cleared a large number of hectares of bomb- and mine-polluted land and renewed green areas with vegetation cover.

By Nguyen Hoang – Translated by Kim Khanh

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