Return to Index            VVMCT-CAMBODIA  - WHAT ACTUALLY DO WE DO

Make a Donation
by Bank Transfer - Cheque or Postal Order.

Made out to:  VVMCT-Cambodia. 25 Balloch Street, Wishart. Queensland. AUSTRALIA 4122

OR

Bank:           Westpac
Branch:        Springwood QLD
BSB:            034-076
Account No: 354687  


Cambodia is located in South East Asia, bounded by Thailand and Laos in the north with Vietnam on its Eastern border. It has a major problem with landmine contamination and has one of the highest rates of amputees in the world. Of the 15,200,000 people, it has 40,000 amputees. It is estimated that between 4 and 6 million explosive remnants of war (ERW) remain buried throughout Cambodia. Concentration is mainly in the Northern Provinces.

 Who is responsible for putting the mines and the unexploded ordnance there in the first place? Carpet bombing of Kampuchea during the Vietnam War, from the late sixties to the middle of the seventies. The Khmer Rouge, Heng Samrin, the Hun Sen regime and the Vietnamese who invaded their country. The Cambodian–Vietnamese War was an armed conflict between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Democratic Kampuchea which began on 25th December 1978, only a few years after the Vietnam War ended.

 Over a decade ago Cambodia had the highest incidence of mine incidents in the world with casualty rates (2000 to 2005) of over 850 per year. That figure has declined over the last decade but is still considered to be too high. The loss of one child or one farmer impacts the family unit in a very destructive way. The loss of a breadwinner means the family being supported by the farmer is without an income and that unit breaks down with the children and partner being exposed to exploitation in its many repugnant forms.

 Locating the mines is made all the more difficult by the lack on data on their whereabouts. No map was ever produced as to where any of these mines were laid. Years of flooding rains and subsistence have relocated some of these devices well away from where they were laid in the first place. It is an inch by inch search with the aid of a deminer with a detector. The CSHD and the VVMCT-Cambodia Inc have a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to address the landmine contamination in Cambodia.

 The VVMCT-Cambodia Inc is an Australian based organisation supporting the work of the Cambodian Self Help Demining NGO (CSHD). Our charter also allows us to support the work of the Cambodian Landmine Museum and other projects stemming from either CSHD or the CLMMRF. We raise money by way of donation to purchase equipment that allows us to operate a large demining organisation in Cambodia. Our current financial involvement runs to USD$120,000 per year. Of that figure, US$85,000 is taken up with the wages of the Khmer deminers. Added to this effort, we have an American (Bill Morse) who, through the United States Government, puts in another USD$175,000. With our combined efforts we are making a difference. That is not to say we can become complacent about it all. To continue to make a difference, we continue to need your support.
 
 No salaries are paid to us and we pay for all our own expenses including air fares, accommodation while in Cambodia. Bomber, Mac and I spend six to seven months each year in Cambodia supporting the CSHD in mine detection, destruction and removal. We stagger our presence in Cambodia to ensure that we have a presence in the country throughout the year. We monitor adherence to laid down SOP's and advise on everyday operations in the minefield environment. To date, we have not had a major event occur within our demining workforce. Testament to the rigid regime of training we require.
 
 Supporting the CSHD enables the local population to help themselves to remove the landmine contamination that remains in their country after decades of war. We are there to train and financially support them to take charge of their landmine problem. On top of this is the Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) problem of buried ordnance from the carpet bombing by the US during the Vietnam conflict. Cambodia was just an innocent partner during that conflict. Then along came Pol Pot and slaughtered over 1.5 million of his own people and planted millions of landmines during the 2 years that he was in charge in an effort to bring the country back to year zero. His efforts to do this are still causing grief over 40 years later. Landmines are the perfect soldier. They don't get paid and never complain. Unfortunately, they can't tell the difference between friend or foe, man, woman or most tragically, children.
 
 Mines have killed, maimed and injured tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children in Cambodia. Sadly, too many of them have been children. Bomber, Mac and I have done what we can with the funds we have been able to raise in Australia. To date, we have helped in clearing almost 2,000,000 square metres of contaminated land. Land that was killing and maiming Cambodians yesterday is now available for food production and hunting and gathering. We are making a difference and we ask that you consider helping us complete the task by making a donation to make it all happen.

 
This Web Site is maintained by
Vietnam Veterans Mine Clearing Team - Cambodia Inc

25 Balloch Street, Wishart. Queensland 4122  -   Phone (07) 3343 4725    
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