VIETNAM scrap collectors on Flickr.
Pic of the Day: Scrap metal collectors in Quang Binh, Vietnam, 2007.
Scrap metal collecting is a relatively lucrative activity for those willing to risk their lives. People use primitive detectors to hunt for scrap: normally what they find is harmless, but there’s always the risk it could be a deadly bomb. Millions of tonnes of ordnance were dropped on Vietnam between 1964 and 1973. It is estimated that up to a third did not detonate. As a result, unexploded ordnance (UXO) still contaminates the ground, affecting as much as 20 per cent of the country.
Collecting war scrap is an illegal trade but, as in other South East Asian countries such as Laos and Cambodia, poverty means that people do it as a way to earn a living.