Visitors at the exhibition (Photo: VNA)
An exhibition on the impact of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin in Vietnam opened in Pleiku city of the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai on July 18.
The event is to mark the 58th year of the AO/dioxin catastrophe in Vietnam and the Day for AO/dioxin victims (August 10, 1961).
The US sprayed some 80 million litres of toxic chemicals in Vietnam during the war, 61 percent of which was AO containing 366 kg of dioxin. As a result, more than 3 million ha of forested land was destroyed, while basic water and food sources for millions of people were contaminated.
Preliminary statistics showed 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to AO/dioxin. Tens of thousands of people died from exposure, while millions of others went on to suffer from cancer and other incurable diseases. The children and grandchildren of many victims have been affected with birth deformities.
The toxic chemical still remains across 28 sites in Vietnam to date.
Most recently, Da Nang airport, one of these spots, saw all of its dioxin-polluted area detoxified, thanks to a six-year project funded by non-refundable aid from the U.S. Government worth USD 110 million. Meanwhile, another dioxin treatment project is underway at the Bien Hoa airport, based in the southern province of Dong Nai. With an estimated cost of USD 500 million, it is expected to last for 10 years.
Vietnam has approximately 4.8 million AO victims, millions of whom are also struggling with disease and poverty, in desperate need of healthcare and rehabilitation support.
Through about 300 items and photos on display, the exhibition gives visitors an insight into the danger and devastation of chemical toxins and the process by which the US army caused the AO/dioxin disaster in Vietnam.
The exhibition also introduces activities to seek justice by the Vietnam Association for Victims of AO/Dioxin (VAVA) for the victims of the country who rise to the challenges.
It aims to raise awareness of the sufferings of the Vietnamese people caused by AO/dioxin, thus calling for support from the community and international friends in their fight for justice.
The event will last until August 20./.