Vietnamese forest devastated by Agent Orange restored to health
The Vietnamese government launched a large-scale reforestation effort after the war to restore the area to its natural state. Red mangrove (rhizophora apiculata) saplings were brought into the area by boats.
"With no maps or compasses, we lived on a boat every day"” recalled Vien Ngoc Nam, a professor of forestry at Nong Lam University.
Thirty-five years after the start of the rehabilitation program, the forest is now home to at least 16 mammal and 135 bird species.
AO victims will file fourth lawsuit on manufacturers
Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange will proceed with their fourth lawsuit against American chemical companies that produced the toxic defoliant sprayed by US forces during the American War.
Major General Tran Ngoc Tho, head of the Association for Victims of Agent Orange in HCM City, made the announcement last Saturday at a ceremony marking the 52nd anniversary of the day (August 10, 1961) US troops began to spray large parts of Viet Nam with Agent Orange.
Speaking at the ceremony that was telecast live, Tho told the audience of AO victims and officials that the three earlier lawsuits had been rejected with the explanation that there was not enough evidence.
4 decades after war ended, Agent Orange still ravaging Vietnamese
Le and her daughter are second- and third-generation victims of dioxin exposure, the result of the U.S. military’s use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, when the U.S. Air Force sprayed more than 20 million gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides over parts of southern Vietnam and along the borders of neighboring Laos and Cambodia. The herbicides were contaminated with dioxin, a deadly compound that remains toxic for decades and causes birth defects, cancer and other illnesses.
To this day, dioxin continues to poison the land and the people. The United States has never accepted responsibility for these victims – it denies that Agent Orange is responsible for diseases among Vietnamese that are accepted as Agent Orange-caused among American veterans – and it’s unclear when this chain of misery will end.
Horrors of Agent Orange linger in Vietnam
"The children at the Peace Village have many different problems caused by Agent Orange," says Tu Du Hospital rehabilitation department chief, Dr Nguyen Thi Phuong Tan.
"Some are deaf or blind; others are missing limbs."
Abnormal head swelling due to a condition called hydrocephalus is also common, as are skin problems like Minh Anh's, and reduced mental capacity.
But in each case, the cause is from the same thing – inherited genetic malformations because their parents, grandparents or even great grandparents were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.