Democratic Republic of Congo
Unexploded ordnance (UXO) litters the Democratic Republic of Congo, threatening lives and limbs. Communities are also at risk of accidental explosions at poorly managed ammunition depots.
Credit: Sean Sutton / MAG
Why MAG is needed in the D.R.Congo
Between 1996 and 2003, the Democratic Republic of Congo was the site of the most deadly conflict since World War Two, which led to as many as 5.4 million deaths¹ and left large concentrations of UXO scattered across the country.
This UXO limits access to resources such as firewood and arable land, hinders local and cross-border trade and communications, and prevents access to essential health and education services.
On top of this, huge numbers of arms and ammunition are stored in unsecured stockpiles and depots across the country. In the absence of adequate stockpile management procedures, arms and ammunition are regularly ‘diverted’ from official stockpiles to non-state armed groups, fuelling ongoing violence in the country.
Communities are also at risk from the accidental detonation of stockpiles, with most munitions sites located in highly populated areas. According to Small Arms Survey, there have been eight recorded incidents of stockpiles exploding since 2000, killing at least 110 people and injuring hundreds.
These are practical solutions that will improve security for the population
Lindu minefield in the western province of Bas-Congo.
Josephine and her family are now able to begin rebuilding their lives.
Mine clearance, unexploded ordnance removal, and weapons security in the D.R. Congo, October 2012. [All photos: © Sean Sutton/MAG]
Our impact in the D.R.Congo
July 2012 to June 2013
Risk education includes the provision of safety messages to at-risk individuals and communities, raising awareness of the dangers and promoting safe behaviour.
A risk education session may include, for example: how to recognise commonly found remnants of conflict; how to report a dangerous item; what to do in an emergency; known areas of contamination and accidents; warning clues and signs for mined areas; how to keep others safe, and more.
Success story: Cutting up guns
MAG has worked with authorities since 2006 to improve the storage of weapons and ammunition, and destroy surplus guns. Read this report from inside an ammunition depot in Kinshasa.
Democratic Republic of Congo: key facts
• Population: 75.5 million
• Life expectancy: 56 years
• Gross National Income per capita: US $220
• People with access to safe drinking water: 45% (Global average 86%)
• People below the poverty line: 71%
Figures: CIA, UNDP, UN Water, World Bank