According to a report released by the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, casualties from landmines and unexploded ordnance have remarkably increased in the first two months of this year. The country reported 40 casualties, 6 people killed and 34 injured, during the January-February period. This is up 90% from 21 casualties, 2 people killed and 19 injured, over the same period last year. Last Friday, two men were seriously injured in Battambang Province when an anti-tank mine exploded while they were plowing their farm.
This is why your support is so important. Cambodia has made substantial progress in clearing high priority minefields, destroying large quantities of landmines and ERW, and, most importantly reducing the number of casualties from a peak of over 4,000 in 1996. However anti-tank mine accidents, often causing multiple victims and fatalities, are increasing and demining rates remain outpaced by the strong demand for land. Mrs. Heam Chantol (33 years old) is a mother of two children and small farmer. A few years ago, her brother-in-law visited her home and during his visit he stepped on a mine resulting in the amputation of his foot. In order to support her family, Mrs. Heam Chanthol continued to farm her land until one day she too stepped on a mine. She was incredibly fortunate that, due to degradation, the mine did not function as designed and only smoke was released. After that she was too afraid to continue farming her land and had to look elsewhere to make ends meet. With support from our donors, HALO cleared the land and now Mrs. Heam Chantol is able to cultivate her crops safely to feed her family. The photo of her here shows multiple yellow sticks indicating where mines were found and destroyed by HALO within close proximity to her home. Together we can make landmines history, not some innocent person's future.
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