Dioxin remediation operations at Bien Hoa Airbase kicked off
|Contaminated land at Bien Hoa airbase area handed over for dioxin remediation|
|Soil washing technology for dioxin treatment to be piloted at Bien Hoa airport|
|Vietnam, US sign agreement on dioxin treatment at Bien Hoa airport|
|Work on the US-funded Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Project in the southern province of Dong Nai began on December 5. Photo: USAID|
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Vietnam’s Air Defense Air Force Command (ADAFC), the Ministry of National Defense, and the National Action Center for Chemical and Environmental Treatment (NACCET) celebrated the commencement of dioxin remediation operations at Bien Hoa Airbase and the signing of an agreement to implement a USD 65 million program to support persons with disabilities.
ADAFC has handed over 37 hectares of the western portion of the airbase (known as Pacer Ivy) to USAID to begin ground operations for the Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Project. USAID-supported work crews have built roads, constructed gates and offices, and initiated land clearance and survey activities. The objective is to first eliminate the risk of further dioxin migration off base, working with Dong Nai authorities to clean areas off base, and then to treat and contain contaminated soils. The United States government has committed USD 300 million to restoring the airbase and surrounding areas, which will take 10 years to complete.
USAID also signed an agreement with NACCET to provide USD 65 million for implementing activities that provide direct services to persons with severe disabilities in eight priority provinces over the next five years. Specifically, USAID plans to work with the Government of Vietnam to strengthen Vietnam’s rehabilitation system and community support networks to ensure that all persons with disabilities have the opportunity to fully participate in society while improving their overall quality of life.
This significant milestone in the US-Vietnam relationship was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, Vice Minister of National Defense Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, US Chargé d’Affaires to Vietnam Caryn R. McClelland, US Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Marie Damour, and USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene.
Speaking at the event, Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh hailed efforts by Vietnamese and US relevant sides for their meticulous preparation for the project, highlighting that the dioxin detoxification project at Bien Hoa Airbase is a vivid illustration for the US’s strong commitment to joining hands with Vietnam in the post-war recovery efforts.
He then asked the Ministry of Defence to coordinate with relevant ministries, sectors and localities to remove bottlenecks so as to accelerate the implementation of the project, while working to ensure safety for people and the environment during the detoxification process.
For her part, Chargé d’Affaires Caryn R. McClelland stated: “Today we celebrated the strong partnership between United States the and Vietnam. I was honored to speak at an event where USAID Vietnam signed an agreement with Vietnam’s newly launched National Action Centre for Toxic Chemicals and Environmental Treatment (NACCET) to provide USD 65 million in assistance to support persons with disabilities. The event also commemorated a groundbreaking ceremony for USAID and the Vietnam Ministry of National Defense’s Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Area Project.”
“Not only will we work to reduce risk and ensure the safety of surrounding communities, we will again demonstrate to the world the incredible example of the United States-Vietnam relationship, where former foes chose to partner, overcome the past, and pave the way toward a future of friendship and mutual prosperity,” she said.
|At the signing of an agreement to implement a 65 million USD programme to support persons with disabilities in eight priority provinces in the next five years between USAID and NACCET. Photo: USAID|
On the occasion, Deputy PM Binh and the US diplomat witnessed the signing of an agreement to implement a 65 million USD programme to support persons with disabilities in eight priority provinces in the next five years between USAID and NACCET./.