Every June, as the rainy season approaches, families across Laos prepare to plant their annual rice crop. In Labokang Village, Savannakhet Province, sisters Bountem and Phim, along with their relatives, are moving pre- germinated seedlings from their nursery to the wet field. This patch of land has been in their family for over 20 years. Frighteningly, during this time they have discovered over 100 submunitions (explosives) scattered across their fields. Thankfully, unlike many other families in Savannkhet, nobody has suffered an accident. When harvested in three to four months time, the crop will provide food for ten family members.
Thanks to funding from The United States Department of State, HALO was able to survey the family’s land—the first step towards making it safe. Our team discovered and carefully destroyed a further 23 unexploded items.
Now the family are waiting for their fields to be prioritised for clearance by HALO so that they can be made safe for new harvests and generations to come.
No one should have to make the choice between farming dangerous land or going hungry. With your support, we can ensure families like Bountem and Phim’s can look forward to a brighter future.