MAG in Chad

LANDMINES DESTROYED IN 2015

1,000

OTHER EXPLOSIVE ITEMS DESTROYED

6,300

RISK EDUCATION SESSIONS IN 2015

58

PEOPLE WE HELPED DIRECTLY

14,600

Landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) left behind after decades of conflict continue to endanger lives and trap people in poverty.

Market trader in Chad

A woman selling vegetables at the market in Zouarke. Traders like this are risking their lives travelling through heavily mined areas.

Photo: Sean Sutton/MAG

 

The problems

Why MAG is in Chad

After decades of conflict, landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) continue to contaminate many parts of Chad.

At the start of 2014, Chad's national demining centre reported that there were 337 areas potentially contaminated by landmines and UXO, representing more than one million square metres of land.

These deadly items directly affect the lives and livelihoods of more than two million people, including 170,000 who are internally displaced and another 325,000 refugees.

In addition to those who are displaced, many communities are nomadic, meaning that they often move through unfamiliar areas and may be unaware of the dangers.

Mines and UXO items prevent access to basic necessities such as water, food and productive land, and hinder development.  

AV mine demolition in Chad

This photo shows hundreds of anti-vehicle (AV) landmines being safely destroyed. MAG destroyed a mammoth 824 AV mines in Chad in 2015 in this and another bulk demolition.

Photo: MAG Chad


 

How MAG is helping in Chad

MAG has worked in Chad since 2004, with activities focusing on improving the safety of communities and facilitating development, and contributing to Chad’s progress towards its  Mine Ban Treaty obligations.

By making land safe in Chad, MAG is helping communities recover from conflict, enabling vital infrastructure such as housing, schools and clinics to be built, and agricultural land to be used safely. 

MAG operates in the most affected regions of northern Chad – Borkou, Ennedi and Tibesti – as well as surveying areas in the south of the country, through our partner Handicap International. Survey and demining activities allow land to be safely released back to communities for immediate productive use.

We also deliver 'risk education', teaching vital safe behavior in contaminated areas and raising awareness of the dangers of landmines and UXO. This work focuses on the most vulnerable groups, particularly children and displaced people.

ARMS MANAGEMENT AND DESTRUCTION

MAG is also working with the authorities in Chad to improve arms and ammunition management, as part of our regional Sahel-West Africa programme.

This Arms Management and Destruction (AMD) work has two main aims:

(1) To reduce the risk and impact of  unplanned explosions at munitions sites.

(2) To reduce the risk of arms being diverted to the illicit market and its resulting human impact.

AMD has become a priority for many states that have amassed large stockpiles due to conflict, cross-border insecurity and the prevalence of non-state armed groups.

Likewise, the international community has recognised the need to reduce the risk of diversion and unplanned explosions by encouraging better control of weapons and munitions stores.

MAG's AMD activities include:

• Technical risk assessments of weapons and munitions stores

• Cutting of small arms and light weapons

• Specialist training

• Refurbishment of armouries and munitions depots to make them safer and more secure

• Destruction of unserviceable small arms ammunition.

Before and after:

Unsecured weapons in Chad

Unsecured storage of weapons at a Gendarmerie Nationale (national police force of Chad) armoury.

Weapons rack in Chad

A weapons rack installed as part of MAG's work to reduce the risk of arms being diverted to the black market and the human impact resulting from this.

Photo: Sean Sutton/MAG