Coping with COPE

Google-able Fact #2 – Lao PDR is the world’s most heavily bombed country per capita. More than 580,000 bombing missions were conducted over Lao by the US Air Force during the Vietnamese War (1955 – 1975) aimed at destroying the North Vietnamese Supply Ports.

Most of you may have already heard of or read the above. But what I didn’t know of until I visited the COPE Visitor Center this weekend was that of the 280 million bombs dropped over Lao, 80 million failed to detonate and still remain unexploded.

Watch the below video to get a brief insight into why COPE was born.                                   (Note: The volume of the video will be inaudible until you don’t have your speakers turned up to MAX. Apologies if you are still unable to hear but the pictorial form is quite self-explanatory)

 

More than 40 years after the end of the Second Indochina War, people in Lao continue to live in danger from unexploded ordnance (UXO) threatening their lives and hindering development. Without UXO clearance, development of any form in Lao is stalled.

MAG (http://archive.maginternational.org/about/) is a humanitarian organization working to secure Lao from these unexploded bombs. Log onto their website (link above) to know more and contribute if you wish to.

My thoughts: It was hard-hitting to see that because of a decade-long event that took place 40 years ago, the people of Lao PDR continue to suffer. Lao particularly thrives on mining and agriculture, and if the farmers in the rural areas are restricted to plough in a specific area with the fear of being exploded otherwise, it is costing this country a developed economy.                                                                                                                        P.S. – Make sure to visit this center if you ever travel to Lao.

IMG_2629 (1)
Documentaries you could watch..

 

Talking about visiting the country, here is a quick overview of what the approx. expenditure is like. (Christos – as promised (: )

Activity Average Cost
Accommodation in a decent guesthouse $30 – $40 per night
Meal at a decent café or restaurant $10-$15
Tuk-Tuk ride for a 10km distance $18 – $20
Bike rental for a day $10- $12
1GB data package – 30 day $8
1lt Bottle of Water/Pint of Beer $1.25 / $1.8

 

Stay tuned as always.

Khob Chai!

J.Mo

4 comments

  1. Wow Jo!

    That was indeed an eye opener. Wasn’t aware that Lao was a victim of war. Sad to know people had to go through such unfortunate events and still are at a risk. Yet, hats off to their courage and humbleness towards life. Quite influencing.Thanks for sharing once again 

    1. Yes, I had the exact same response to when I discovered what still persists in this country.
      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. Such a moving and informative post Jyoti – the Video is definitely worth watching and puts the much necessary work of COPE into perspective. Thank you for sharing your “Google-able facts” – keep them coming!

  3. Very moving…a real shame for these victims of war, to have deal with the remnants of being the most bombed country in the world so many years later… 😦

    And thanks for the facts. I think Laos is on my travel list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s