- Alexander :)
- United Kingdom
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A TASTE of LAOS - The Land of a Million Elephants
Thanks wongmo r and Debra
Just typed 'Laos' into the search bar - "No result matches your query"
So continuing the 'A Taste of...' series I offer my favourite country...Laos.
Did you know?:-
- Laos is the most heavily bombed country per capita in the history of warfare.
- Over 2 million tons of ordnance were dropped on Laos between 1964 and 1973
- that's one B-52 every 8 minutes, 24hrs/day for 9 years!
- 25% of villages are contaminated with UXO
- there are 80 million unexploded 'bombies' remaining
- 70,000+ people have been killed by UXO accidents to date
- only 1% of the land has been cleared
- More than a quarter of Laos residents live on less than $1.25 a day.
This was the CIA's 'Secret War' which went under the name of Air America in their aim to stop the spread of communism in the region. Vietnam was used in the media as the cause, so that a PR successful sea assault could be made to the region.
The budget for clearing these UXO is staggeringly small, with America STILL not acknowledging officially what they actually did there - thereby having no grounds to donate funds to clear their up mess.
Laos' borders were closed until around 1995, and tourism really started to get going after 2006. The development and construction work can be seen everywhere, and there is lots of foreign trade investment - however VERY little money goes to clearing up the UXO (no profit in that!). With all this development there is also a very real threat of HIV spreading, and with Laos being part of the Golden Triangle drug production is there. Laos needs help on so many levels.
I just wanted to promote this cause here, which is close to my heart, to the TED community in the hope that at least one person takes note and passes this very real story on, so that the very proud and beautiful people of Laos may be able to go about their lives free from this evil problem.