Mine Risk Education Needed as Casualties Rise in Battambang

Mine Risk Education Needed as Casualties Rise in Battambang

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 recorded by the Cambodia Mine and ERW Victim Information System. From January to April 2019, there are 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. 

Ms. Christian Munduate, UNICEF Representative taking part in MRE Soccer Sessions

Mine Risk Education

Mine risk education 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 discussion 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 coach, UNICEF representative present soccer balls to local community

Spirit of Soccer lead mine risk education (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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