Clearing the Forgotten Minefields of Sri Lanka
Landmine clearance is the pivotal first step in a journey of recovery, security and development in countries affected by these indiscriminate killers.
Rathika and her son Dilakson live on land made safe by MAG in Mannar District, Sri Lanka. “The land is safe and we are safe,” she says. “We grow vegetables and have chickens. We could not be here at all if the landmines were still here.”
MAG believes that everyone has a right to live in safety and free from fear.
THE PROBLEM IN SRI LANKA
The Sri Lankan civil war ended in 2009, but landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) continue to threaten communities in northern and eastern districts. Injuries and deaths are still occurring, and mines and UXO are also preventing communities from rebuilding their lives and re-establishing their livelihoods.
Contaminated land restricts access to paddy fields, water sources and routes to market. It also poses safety concerns for development agencies implementing rehabilitation projects.
HOW MAG IS HELPING
By making land safe, MAG is helping people in Sri Lanka to rebuild their lives, livelihoods and futures following the civil war. As internally displaced people continue to return to the area, it is vital that they have safe land to live and farm on. The land MAG is clearing is some of the most fertile in the country, producing rice and other crucial crops for domestic consumption.
The remaining contaminated land needs to be cleared and released, allowing the Sri Lankan people to get on with their lives, and get back their futures, free from fear.
Page published: 31 March 2017