Jay and her family
Cambodia is home to one of the most dangerous and densely laid mine-belts in the world, the K5. Residents Jay and her family know only too well how dangerous the K5 can be.
“My husband and I have three sons, and we’ve been living here since 2010. We’re from Siem Reap but we couldn’t afford to buy land there, so when a friend said that we could get free land in Damnak Kakaoh (a village in Banteay Meanchey Province) we decided to move.”
Unfortunately, in rural areas of Cambodia, ‘free’ or untouched and unclaimed land can be a tell tale sign of mine contamination. When new and unfamiliar to an area, or when desperate to cultivate crops for income, individuals and families will expand into dangerous unclaimed lots of land not fully knowing the risks they’re taking.
“Last year, my little sister and two of my sons went off to pick vegetables and my sister trod on a mine. Our boys were walking close behind her and they were both hurt badly too. We knew it was a mined area, but we thought there would be a lot of vegetables to pick because no one ever goes there - and we told the kids to be careful and walk close behind my sister. We took my sister and our sons to a free hospital in Thailand for treatment, but my sister lost her leg anyway and both of our sons had deep cuts from the shrapnel all over their bodies. Still, they were lucky. We can’t wait for HALO to finish working here so nobody else gets hurt. We’ve told our children never to go into the mined areas again, and we’ve told all the other villagers as well.”
Generous contributions from donors like you help families like Jay’s live safe and productive lives. The destruction of even one mine can make a world of difference to a family, and with your help we have so far eliminated over 220,000 landmines in Cambodia. However, there is much more work to be done and we’re committed to finishing the job.
The HALO Trust is proud to announce that last month Mozambique was officially declared mine-impact free! HALO began operations in Mozambique 22 years ago, when Mozambique was considered one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. With continued support and dedicated mine clearance efforts on the ground, the threat of landmines can eliminated for good in Cambodia, too.
Do you have any ideas about how HALO can spread the word? We would love to hear your thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org