During a trip to southern Laos I met many people whose lives continue to be shaped by the millions of cluster bombs that were dropped during the war. Their stories are similar to the stories of survivors that I heard in Laos more than 25 years ago.

Mr. Atia, Chief of Keng Lin Village. Photo: Titus Peachey

“During the war, we had to live in the jungle. We stayed in caves or dug holes in the ground to avoid the bombs. We put out our cooking fires as soon as possible so the bomber pilots wouldn’t see the smoke.”
— Mr. Atia, Chief of Keng Lin Village

Mr. Vongsa Vollalath sits with his son in Nam Cho Lo Village. Latsamy lost his arm to a cluster bomb at the age of fourteen. Photo: Titus Peachey

“I’m proud that my son is working with the Ban Advocates to tell other people about the danger of cluster bombs. Our difficulties come from the war and the bombs. It’s hard to make a living.”
— Mr. Vongsa Vollalath

Mr. Lamany Latsvong holds a U.S. cluster bomb which has been transformed into a lamp. Mr. Lamany lost his arm while digging for bamboo shoots. Photo: Titus Peachey

Latsamy. Photo: Titus Peachey

“I think other countries should come and help us. We didn’t make the bombs. I didn’t cut off my own arm. It’s because of the bombs that I am like this. I want all the countries to take action. They shouldn’t just sign the treaty paper.”
— Latsamy