Hong Kong students who were not even born when the Vietnam War ended, have helped deal with its deadly legacy. Matthew Ting Wei-seng, 18, Baggy Rajrohan Sastape, 16, and Dharam Rajkumar Mirpuri, 17, saw for themselves the brutal legacy of the fighting, on a trip to the country last month. 'Although we went prepared, it was still very depressing to see the landmine-ridden areas. You see the injuries of the civilians as a result of the landmines,' Dharam said. The Form Seven students from Sear Rogers International School, Kowloon City, took part in an Oxfam Hong Kong anti-landmine campaign in April. They were involved in a 'walkathon' which raised money for victims of landmines in the developing world. The charity chose them as student ambassadors to visit projects in rural Quang Tri province in central Vietnam. It is estimated that millions of landmines were buried in Vietnam during the war, which ended in the mid-1970s. Most of them were laid in Quang Tri because of its strategic location on the border of what was then South and North Vietnam. 'There was a man who had lost his arm and one of the fingers on his other hand while gardening near his house. The landmines could just be anywhere and the people would not know where,' Dharam said. The war, which erupted in the mid-1960s, was between communist North Vietnam and the forces of the United States and South Vietnam. The North won and re-united the whole country, with Hanoi as its capital. The students found another legacy was that some children were born deformed because of chemical weapons used during the fighting. Matthew said: 'I was particularly upset with the chemical Agent Orange used by the US Government during the war. The chemicals got into the food chain and the water system, which caused deformities in babies.' Agent Orange was used to kill large areas of trees and other plants so the enemy had nowhere to hide. The US also used firebombs to clear the jungle, especially in the Quang Tri area, in central Vietnam. Dharam said landmines were being detected in new places every day, even next door to the local government offices, but the cost of clearing the explosive devices was too high. Some of the mine-ridden areas were known to villagers who would avoid them, but there were still many which had not been detected. Many people were still being injured by landmines as a result, the students were told. 'People collect scrap metal in the fields. They don't know if there are landmines buried deep below the ground. They just take the chance and many of them get hurt,' said Dharam. Although de-mining has been going on since 1975, it is estimated that only 20 per cent have been dealt with. 'It costs US$3 (HK$23) to produce a landmine, but US$1,000 to make it safe. De-mining has mainly been done in towns and cities, the rural Quang Tri province is still very much left out,' said Judy Au Man-yee, spokeswoman for Oxfam Hong Kong, who travelled to Vietnam with the students. Baggy said: 'The government hires professionals to detect the landmines. They have to poke into the ground and then blow them up. Sometimes they get injured in the process.' Some mines are buried so deep that they lay undetected for years. Floods eventually wash soil away, bringing them to the surface. Many landmines were designed not to kill their victims, just to injure them. 'The local people are scared, but they just can't avoid it. They take it as it is and keep looking for scrap metal in the fields. Sometimes they mix up the metal with landmines and get hurt,' Baggy added. 'After what I've seen in Quang Tri, I'm so glad to be living in Hong Kong,' said Baggy.