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Agent Orange in Cambodia 2017

The wars in South-East Asia, after more than forty years after their end, continue to cause victims, due to the use of bombs containing chemical agents and the powerful defoliant called in military jargon "Agent Orange".
It was used on a large scale to destroy crops, starve the population and damage the forest that offered shelter to the enemies. The chemicals have devastating effects on the human beings, and today, after generations, they continue to flow into the waters of affected areas and the blood of its inhabitants.
Malformations, blindness, cancer and severe skin problems are among the most common symptoms of this legacy left by the war, which seems not to be confined within the Vietnamese borders where most of the research has been carried out and the phenomenon
was analyzed over the years.
In Eastern Cambodia, in the province of Svay Rieng, cases of diseases related to the Agent Orange and chemical bombs appear to be thousands, although there are no official figures or specialized clinics in treating these cases. Here the only corporation that takes care of the problem is the CMAC (Cambodian Mine Action Center), which conducts research and handles the removal of unexploded bombs.
At the beginning of November, the United States declared that they would cut the two million dollars they annually devolve to the CMAC, without yet giving an official reason.
Mr. Ratana, CMAC's ceo, said he had met state officials and talked about funding for 2018: "During the discussions, there was no sign of blocking the funding. This is very disappointing "states Ratana, who adds : "The United States have a moral obligation, because they have released many bombs on the Cambodian people". This decision by the United States is creating tension with the government of Phnom Penh,
accusing Washington of not taking its responsibility for the bombings launched on the Cambodian soil, and of diminishing the effects that the chemical weapons found have had on the population.
Koki village, Koki commune, Romeas Hek district, Svay Rieng province.
Srey Eth, 31 years old. A severe skin disorder is degenerating its body making it impossible for any movement due to pain.
Srey for several months had to leave her job at the bank because of this illness.
About a hundred yards from his home were found several explosive ordnance, containing chemical agents.

INTERIVEW: Srey Eth, 31
In the beginning, I had fever and then it came out [describing his skin condition], at first it just looked like rash and the longer the time, it spread out to other places. For the duration that I have been sick, up until now it has been seven years already. The symptoms are, first it makes us really feel itchy, so hard to endure with it. Second, fever, it is as hot as fire. It is very hot. The third one is cold. It is hard to endure it, even cover with a few blankets, it is still cold. The fourth one is pain, the bone-ache making it hard for me to walk, unless I take some medicine I would be able to walk. If I donít take medicine, I would not be able to walk. It is really hard. My eyes became dazzled. It is so hard to see. Sometime they became dazzled and something they could see. I also have issues with my ear and chest-pain and sometime I have difficulty with breathing and became really fatigue. When it struck each time, It made me hard to breath.  

In overall, some doctors told me that I have dermatitis and some called it Psoriasis. I donít really know a foreign language. I have never really known the name of this disease. I just knew that I am the only person who has this disease; I donít know where it came from. It just became like this. When I went to see the doctor, as I had been treating for a long time, I asked the doctor, the doctor said that this disease is not curable. It made me more upset.

First it appeared at the back of my ear. It was really small like rash and later it spread out and also affected my finger nails. I used both Khmer traditional medicines and the medicines; it became really spread out all over the place. When I had blood test, the doctor announced that I donít have any virus, saying that my body is just like a normal person, but I am dying. The skin became really dried. It is really hard and I had to apply lotions. The skin became really hard and sometime, I pressed it, it wouldnít go down. Feeling it, it doesnít feel like human skin.
I really donít know about the reasons. I donít know what cause it. Every day I am wondering why in the whole village, I am the only one who has this, being seriously sick with this disease.
Before I had never thought of that [regarding whether his disease caused from the chemical bombs], I studied at that school for 6 years [the school where bomb was found]. I frequently drank water from that nearby well. When people just recently talked about chemical bombs, then I just thought about it, I am afraid that it could be the cause. I am not an expert in that area, so I donít really know.
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Koki village, Koki commune, Romeas Hek district, Svay Rieng province.
Srey Eth, 31 years old. A severe skin disorder is degenerating its body making it impossible for any movement due to pain.
Srey for several months had to leave her job at the bank because of this illness.
About a hundred yards from his home were found several explosive ordnance, containing chemical agents.

INTERIVEW: Srey Eth, 31
In the beginning, I had fever and then it came out [describing his skin condition], at first it just looked like rash and the longer the time, it spread out to other places. For the duration that I have been sick, up until now it has been seven years already. The symptoms are, first it makes us really feel itchy, so hard to endure with it. Second, fever, it is as hot as fire. It is very hot. The third one is cold. It is hard to endure it, even cover with a few blankets, it is still cold. The fourth one is pain, the bone-ache making it hard for me to walk, unless I take some medicine I would be able to walk. If I donít take medicine, I would not be able to walk. It is really hard. My eyes became dazzled. It is so hard to see. Sometime they became dazzled and something they could see. I also have issues with my ear and chest-pain and sometime I have difficulty with breathing and became really fatigue. When it struck each time, It made me hard to breath.

In overall, some doctors told me that I have dermatitis and some called it Psoriasis. I donít really know a foreign language. I have never really known the name of this disease. I just knew that I am the only person who has this disease; I donít know where it came from. It just became like this. When I went to see the doctor, as I had been treating for a long time, I asked the doctor, the doctor said that this disease is not curable. It made me more upset.

First it appeared at the back of my ear. It was really small like rash and later it spread out and also affected my finger nails. I used both Khmer traditional medicines and the medicines; it became really spread out all over the place. When I had blood test, the doctor announced that I donít have any virus, saying that my body is just like a normal person, but I am dying. The skin became really dried. It is really hard and I had to apply lotions. The skin became really hard and sometime, I pressed it, it wouldnít go down. Feeling it, it doesnít feel like human skin.
I really donít know about the reasons. I donít know what cause it. Every day I am wondering why in the whole village, I am the only one who has this, being seriously sick with this disease.
Before I had never thought of that [regarding whether his disease caused from the chemical bombs], I studied at that school for 6 years [the school where bomb was found]. I frequently drank water from that nearby well. When people just recently talked about chemical bombs, then I just thought about it, I am afraid that it could be the cause. I am not an expert in that area, so I donít really know.
Sum Rany, 4 years old. BBorn suffering from hydrocephalus and other health problems. Hydrocephaly according to studies performed on several patients could be a direct consequence of exposure to the orange agent by his parents or grandparents.

INTERVIEW: Sors Sopheak, 42 [grandmother of the Sum Rany]
The doctor said that she has fluid in her brain. The doctor suggested for operation, but I disagree for operation. Even though operation was done, it would not cure her anyway. I rather leave my granddaughter just like this. I decided to take her back home. When I took her to hospital while she was four months old, the doctor also said like this. The doctor made an appointment for me to go again, but I didnít go. And then, they said that we have to come again, so I went. They were about to do operation, but I didnít allow it to happen. I took her back home. 
I am afraid that she will get pain from that surgery and from her illness too. She always cried and we barely could sleep. Within this three to four year, we barely have good sleep. She always cried; imagine she was at the hospital. Just only four nights at the hospital, the person who took care of her almost dying, couldnít go anywhere. If she was home, we could take her around on motorbike. At the hospital, she was given IV drops and she didnít want to stay. She cried. When she is home, we take her around on motorbike. Doctor said the fluid is in the head and it keeps expanding. Now it is no longer becoming big, her head became hard.

In the beginning, I believed that she just was born this way, until CMAC came here and found those chemical bombs. We didnít know, so that we thought she was just born with that condition. As now we knew, it was from those chemical bombs. In the past, we only drank water from those small pond, we donít have water from well to drink. We donít have well. We just drank water in the small puddle resulting from cows or water buffalo footprints and in the forest. There was only one well and everyone used it all together. In the past, there was well at each household. We just drank water in the forest.
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Sum Rany, 4 years old. BBorn suffering from hydrocephalus and other health problems. Hydrocephaly according to studies performed on several patients could be a direct consequence of exposure to the orange agent by his parents or grandparents.

INTERVIEW: Sors Sopheak, 42 [grandmother of the Sum Rany]
The doctor said that she has fluid in her brain. The doctor suggested for operation, but I disagree for operation. Even though operation was done, it would not cure her anyway. I rather leave my granddaughter just like this. I decided to take her back home. When I took her to hospital while she was four months old, the doctor also said like this. The doctor made an appointment for me to go again, but I didnít go. And then, they said that we have to come again, so I went. They were about to do operation, but I didnít allow it to happen. I took her back home.
I am afraid that she will get pain from that surgery and from her illness too. She always cried and we barely could sleep. Within this three to four year, we barely have good sleep. She always cried; imagine she was at the hospital. Just only four nights at the hospital, the person who took care of her almost dying, couldnít go anywhere. If she was home, we could take her around on motorbike. At the hospital, she was given IV drops and she didnít want to stay. She cried. When she is home, we take her around on motorbike. Doctor said the fluid is in the head and it keeps expanding. Now it is no longer becoming big, her head became hard.

In the beginning, I believed that she just was born this way, until CMAC came here and found those chemical bombs. We didnít know, so that we thought she was just born with that condition. As now we knew, it was from those chemical bombs. In the past, we only drank water from those small pond, we donít have water from well to drink. We donít have well. We just drank water in the small puddle resulting from cows or water buffalo footprints and in the forest. There was only one well and everyone used it all together. In the past, there was well at each household. We just drank water in the forest.

Sorn Nita, 10 year old, born with a severe malformation in her legs and neck
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Sorn Nita, 10 year old, born with a severe malformation in her legs and neck
The village of Koki, the municipality of Koki, the district of Romeas Hek, the province of Svay Rieng.
A woman raises a friend's t-shirt showing the severe skin rashes she suffers.
In this village more than a hundred people have been suffering from serious disturbances. According to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), these illnesses are attributed to exposure to gas contained in the bombs found in the area.
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The village of Koki, the municipality of Koki, the district of Romeas Hek, the province of Svay Rieng.
A woman raises a friend's t-shirt showing the severe skin rashes she suffers.
In this village more than a hundred people have been suffering from serious disturbances. According to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), these illnesses are attributed to exposure to gas contained in the bombs found in the area.
Koki village, Koki commune, Romeas Hek district, Svay Rieng province.
Sorm Sokhum, 14 years old.Born with a malformation, Sorm never grew up, weighing only nine kilos and not being able to walk. About a hundred yards from his home were found several explosive ordnance, containing chemical agents.
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Koki village, Koki commune, Romeas Hek district, Svay Rieng province.
Sorm Sokhum, 14 years old.Born with a malformation, Sorm never grew up, weighing only nine kilos and not being able to walk. About a hundred yards from his home were found several explosive ordnance, containing chemical agents.
Prey Ta Thoeung village, Koki Som commune Svay Teap district, Svay Rieng province. Hem Vichheka, 10 years old. Born with various malformations, parents remember well planes that sprayed orange agent in areas where they now live.
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Prey Ta Thoeung village, Koki Som commune Svay Teap district, Svay Rieng province. Hem Vichheka, 10 years old. Born with various malformations, parents remember well planes that sprayed orange agent in areas where they now live.
The village of Koki, the municipality of Koki, the district of Romeas Hek, the province of Svay Rieng.
The Cambodian authorities with members of the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) carry out an analysis of the location of the find of an unexploded gas bomb .
In this village more than a hundred people have been suffering from serious disturbances. According to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), these illnesses are attributed to exposure to gas contained in the bombs found in the area.
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The village of Koki, the municipality of Koki, the district of Romeas Hek, the province of Svay Rieng.
The Cambodian authorities with members of the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) carry out an analysis of the location of the find of an unexploded gas bomb .
In this village more than a hundred people have been suffering from serious disturbances. According to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), these illnesses are attributed to exposure to gas contained in the bombs found in the area.
The village of Koki, the municipality of Koki, the district of Romeas Hek, the province of Svay Rieng.
A group of women showing the legs and the severe skin rashes she suffers.
In this village more than a hundred people have been suffering from serious disturbances. According to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), these illnesses are attributed to exposure to gas contained in the bombs found in the area.
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The village of Koki, the municipality of Koki, the district of Romeas Hek, the province of Svay Rieng.
A group of women showing the legs and the severe skin rashes she suffers.
In this village more than a hundred people have been suffering from serious disturbances. According to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), these illnesses are attributed to exposure to gas contained in the bombs found in the area.
The Kampot Tuk village, the municipality of Koki Som, the district of Svay Teap, the province of Svay Rieng.
Noy Sam Ath, 5 years old. Born with hydrocephalus and a tumor that continued to grow.
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The Kampot Tuk village, the municipality of Koki Som, the district of Svay Teap, the province of Svay Rieng.
Noy Sam Ath, 5 years old. Born with hydrocephalus and a tumor that continued to grow.
Kampot Tuk village, Koki Som commune Svay Teap district, Svay Rieng province. Dauk Paris, 22 years old. Born with various malformations, her mother remember well planes that sprayed orange agent in areas where they now live.
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Kampot Tuk village, Koki Som commune Svay Teap district, Svay Rieng province. Dauk Paris, 22 years old. Born with various malformations, her mother remember well planes that sprayed orange agent in areas where they now live.
Rorn Soknouch, 14, suffering from hydrocephalus
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Rorn Soknouch, 14, suffering from hydrocephalus
Seng Damo, 5 years old, born with a severe leg malformation
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Seng Damo, 5 years old, born with a severe leg malformation
Seth Ratha, 14 year old, born with a severe leg malformation
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Seth Ratha, 14 year old, born with a severe leg malformation
Rak Rin, 16, suffering from hydrocephalus
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Rak Rin, 16, suffering from hydrocephalus
Prey Ta Thoeung village, Koki Som commune Svay Teap district, Svay Rieng province.Chhun Koy, 25 years old. Born with several malformations, the mother claimed to have been exposed to the agent orange.
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Prey Ta Thoeung village, Koki Som commune Svay Teap district, Svay Rieng province.Chhun Koy, 25 years old. Born with several malformations, the mother claimed to have been exposed to the agent orange.
Doun Ang village, Koki Som municipality Svay Teap district, Svay Rieng province.
Tang Chamroeun, 32 years old. Born with a legs malformation is forced on a wheelchair.parents remember well planes that sprayed orange agent in areas where they now live.

INTERVIEW: Sok Deang, 67 years old [Aunt of Tang Chamroeun]

I donít really know what kind of bombs. They were the size of banana flowers, seeing from the distance they were the size of our lower legs and thighs. Many bombs were dropped in this area, in the west of that pagoda, in the east, in the north and the surrounding areas and in the south. There were [regarding to a question if she was yellow powder stayed on tree leaves at that time], I couldnít really see them, because I was busy running away. When they dropped it, I ran away. I donít really have any opinion [regarding a question about her feeling and opinion toward America.] I was afraid and I just ran away. I donít really know who dropped them. Many bombs were dropped here. If they poisonous substance or something, I donít really know. Yes I saw it [regarding to American Agent Orange], It stayed on the trees it was like smoke that could be seen from the distance. I just ran away and didnít really know where I was heading to. Yes the leaves later fell.
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Doun Ang village, Koki Som municipality Svay Teap district, Svay Rieng province.
Tang Chamroeun, 32 years old. Born with a legs malformation is forced on a wheelchair.parents remember well planes that sprayed orange agent in areas where they now live.

INTERVIEW: Sok Deang, 67 years old [Aunt of Tang Chamroeun]

I donít really know what kind of bombs. They were the size of banana flowers, seeing from the distance they were the size of our lower legs and thighs. Many bombs were dropped in this area, in the west of that pagoda, in the east, in the north and the surrounding areas and in the south. There were [regarding to a question if she was yellow powder stayed on tree leaves at that time], I couldnít really see them, because I was busy running away. When they dropped it, I ran away. I donít really have any opinion [regarding a question about her feeling and opinion toward America.] I was afraid and I just ran away. I donít really know who dropped them. Many bombs were dropped here. If they poisonous substance or something, I donít really know. Yes I saw it [regarding to American Agent Orange], It stayed on the trees it was like smoke that could be seen from the distance. I just ran away and didnít really know where I was heading to. Yes the leaves later fell.
The Kampot Tuk village, the municipality of Koki Som, the district of Svay Teap, the province of Svay Rieng. Soung Chantrea, 14 years old Born with various malformations, parents remember well planes that sprayed orange agent in areas where they now live.
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The Kampot Tuk village, the municipality of Koki Som, the district of Svay Teap, the province of Svay Rieng. Soung Chantrea, 14 years old Born with various malformations, parents remember well planes that sprayed orange agent in areas where they now live.
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