Over 1000 SK of Afghanistan’s land still contaminated with war ordnance

KABUL (SW) – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has recently released a report, stating that while over 3000 square kilometers of land in Afghanistan have been cleared of war remnants mines, more than 5000 identified cases remain to be cleared.

UNAMA added that in the past three decades, over 44,000 Afghan citizens have been killed or injured due to mine explosions and unexploded ordnances of war. The report stated: “Approximately 5,392 identified threats remain, covering nearly 1,283 square kilometers of land. This issue threatens almost 1,537 communities, hindering safe movement for civilians and humanitarian personnel.”

Another section of the UNAMA report highlighted that mine explosions and unexploded ordnances in Afghanistan have predominantly victimized women and children.

UNAMA has raised this issue, citing that on Monday of this week, 10 children were killed and five others injured in Ghazni and Herat provinces due to explosions of leftover war landmines.

Relatives of some of these children who have been killed as a result of landmines blasts, are call on the de-facto government and international organizations to take serious action to clear their living areas of mines and unexploded ordnances.

Zaher, a resident of Keshk Rubat Sangi district in Herat, said that children in this district were killed and injured while playing with mines. He added, “The landmine was buried underground; they brought it out onto the ground and hit it with a stone and it exploded; one child was killed, and five others are now injured.”

Akhtar Mohammad, a resident of Giru district of Ghazni, also said, “9 children were killed in the village of Zadran as a result of a mine explosion. Our serious request from the government is to clear our area of mines.”

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also announced on Monday that Afghanistan is one of the most contaminated countries with war remnants, with women and children being the most affected.

These statements come as earlier the Ministry of State for Disaster Management cited the lack of a specified budget by the government as the main reason for the delay in the process of clearing contaminated land with war remnants.