Laos is widely labeled as the most bombed country per capita. According to the The National Regulatory Authority for the UXO/Mine Action Sector in the Lao PDR the United States dropped 2 million tons of ordinance onto Laos a bombing mission every 8 minutes, 24 hours a day between 1964 and 1973. The regulatory authority is a public institution of the Laotian government with a stated goal of reducing the threat of unexploded ordinance in the country.
The countryside is littered with unexploded mines, grenades artillery shells, cluster bombs and the remains of other military hardware. The people of Laos began to collect the metal from these leftovers of war. They sell some to Vietnam, China and Thailand for about .13 euros a kilogram, or 7 cents a pound. The metal is also used to make everyday items like eating utensils and machetes.
They can be seen decorating businesses and residences and used in fences and as supports for buildings.The metal hunters use basic metal detectors to find the bombs and then unearth them using ropes and draft animals like elephants or horses. However, children and farmers working the land are often victims of the unexploded ordinance.About four people die a month from such occurrences.
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