A small village in the central province of Quang Tri is dubbed “a village of risk takers” because most of the villagers earn their livelihood by searching for unexploded ordnance or UXOs that the Vietnam War left behind.
Tan Hiep used to be a fishing village along Hieu River in Cam Tuyen commune but now 200 among 230 families there search for explosive remnants for sale.
In late 1990s, many villagers began buying metal detectors to search for underground UXOs. The explosive items are defused before being sold to metal scrap shops.
It is said that a villager once sold a large bomb shell for VND130 million (US$6,165).
However, at least 21 people lost their lives to this job. “We are aware of the dangers. We have no stable jobs and no land so we do it to earn money to support the education of our children” – villager Tran Van Thach told Tuoi Tre.