“My life has changed a lot since the HALO Trust came to clear mines. I am very happy.” Mr. Sena.
In northwest Cambodia, Sena, his wife and their five year old son lived surrounded by landmines for years. Unable to farm their land because of the mines, Sena cut trees in the forest on the border of Thailand to try and earn a living. This is a notoriously dangerous occupation as there is still a high concentration of mines in the border area. Generous donor funding allowed HALO to clear the family’s land and, once the area was safe, a local NGO began to train the community in agricultural skills. Sena learned how to look after chickens and has planted a vegetable garden on the cleared ground. Mineclearance saves lives and returns livelihoods.
Last month the Third Review Conference on the Mine Ban Treaty was held in Mozambique. Over 1,000 representatives of States and international NGOs met to discuss the global effort to end the suffering caused by landmines. HALO appealed to the delegates to aspire to make landmines history by 2025. It’s a global problem we know how to solve. In Cambodia, if we can keep our efforts focused we can get it done. In the first half of 2014, HALO Cambodia has made safe more than 170 minefields, finding and destroying over 1,825 landmines and 3,000 other explosive items.
Thank you for being a part of the global effort tomake landmines history.
By Amy Currin | Director of Development and Communications
Mine victim in Battambang Province, Cambodia.
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.
Thank you to everyone that donated to clear landmines in 2013.
Last year the HALO Trust found and destroyed 6,849 landmines in Cambodia, along with 10,435 other explosive remnants of war. 283 minefields were cleared resulting in 2,770 acres of land returned to the rural poor for homes, farming, roads and schools.
Families can now build a future for themselves. And keep their loved-ones safe.
In 2014, we will continue our pace concentrating on land needed for agriculture and roads. About 50% of the area cleared next year will be targeting antitank mines, which have been a major cause of accidents in recent years.
Thankyou, our amazing supporters, for making it all possible.
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