Local de-mining agencies came together last month to educate affected populations in Battambang about the dangers of landmines after a large increase in casualties.
Casualties on the Rise
From 1979 to April 2019, 64,825 causalities were recorded by the Cambodia Mine and ERW Victim Information System. From January to April 2019, there were 47 people injured or killed. This figure shows a 96% increase compared to the same period in 2018 (24 casualties). Among the 47 casualties, 21% were caused by landmines and 79% by ERWs. Out of this total, 19% (9 casualties) are children under 18 years.
Mine Risk Education
Mine risk education (MRE) continues to play an important role in reducing the number of casualties caused by landmine and Explosive Remnant of War (ERWs). In collaboration with UNICEF, the Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistant Authority organized a joint field visit of MRE activities and discussions with relevant local affected authorities. The visit helped educate the local population about the current nature of landmine and ERW accidents in order to address the increasing number of casualties in Battambang.
The field visit included a range of key players in the mine action field including: Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistant Authority-CMAA, Cambodian Mine Action Centre-CMAC, Halo Trust, MAG, NPMEC, National Police, Minister of Education Youth and Sport, UNICEF, and Asian Regional Mine Action Centre-ARMAC.
Mine Risk Education Through Soccer
Spirit of Soccer lead MRE sessions through soccer in Rotanak Mondul at Boeng Khtum Primary school while the Cambodia Mine Action Center and Police taught MRE through community outreach at Treng Commune. This included the identification of the mine action priority plan, emergency response and awareness of the Law on Management of Weapon.
To conclude, all partners met with local authorities, affected population, commune and village chiefs, and landmine victim survivors to discuss high casualty rates in Rottanak Mondul district of Battambang province.
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