Mrs. Huor with her grandchildren
In Cambodia, much of the rural population's livelihood depends on agriculture. With landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) contaminating the country-side, farmers are deprived of vital resources to pull in higher incomes.
Pre landmine clearance assessments conducted by HALO over the past year show that approximately 70% of HALO beneficiaries live in poverty or are ‘near poor’, living on less than $2.30 a day. With agriculture being the single largest use for cleared land, mine clearance is needed not only to ensure safety but also to grow livelihoods and pull families out of poverty.
Mrs Huor (pictured above) has lived in Boeng Ta Srei village in Banteay Meanchey for 19 years with her husband. Aged 61, she looks after her 7 grandchildren while their parents work in Thailand. Mrs Huor knew that the land the family owned contained landmines so she stopped her children from farming it. As a result, they were unable to earn an income in the area and turned to day labour in Thailand, leaving their children with Mrs Huor and her husband.
Mrs Huor and her husband used to cut trees for wood on the land but they discovered mines. Each time her husband would move the mines and sometimes he burnt them, putting the family at risk. After this, she paid a local person to de-mine her land but she only had enough money for them to work on a small area. Her husband grows rice on that area of land, but it hasn't been enough to sustain the family.
HALO worked on this piece of land for 4 months, during which time we found and destroyed 5 landmines and 6 other explosive items. Mrs Huor is very happy that the HALO Trust has cleared her land as now her children can return home from Thailand and farm it - allowing them to spend more time with their children.
Thanks to supporters like you, we can remove the threat of landmines so families can safely put their land back to productive use.
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