Landmines threaten a million Afghans’ lives
HERAT CITY (PAN): Nearly one million Afghans are living in mined areas in different parts of the country, with the invisible weapon continuing to threaten their lives, an official said on Thursday.
Around 599 square kilometres of Afghanistan’s land is infested with mines, the Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) director-general said.
Daim Khan Kakar said this while addressing a ceremony in western Herat province, where three more districts were declared free of landmines and explosives.
Three years ago, 2,000 people would be killed each month due to the landmines and improvised explosives devices (IEDs) in the country, he recalled. But now the figures have decreased to 45 fatalities a month.
Korkh, Chasht Sharif and Oba districts were declared free of landmines. The entire province would be cleansed of mines by 2018 and Afghanistan by 2023, he said, praising demining efforts over the past three decades.
At a meeting in Geneva last month, the UN announced id="mce_marker"33 million for mine-clearing projects in Afghanistan.
Farid Humayun, director of the Herat-based demining organisation Halo Trust, said they had cleared 54 square kilometres of land in the three districts, benefitting 200,000 people.
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