Landmines are generally divided into two main groups - anti-personnel and anti-tank - and have four main component parts: an outer structure made of either plastic, wood, metal, Bakelite, rubber or even glass; a fuse or firing mechanism; a detonator; and high explosives.
Some contain thousands of pieces of shrapnel, designed to fire out to great distances, while others have been made with a minimum amount of metal and are therefore difficult to detect using metal detectors.Unexploded ordnance'Unexploded ordnance' (UXO) refers to explosive weapons - such as bombs, rockets, missiles, mortars and grenades - that did not explode when they were used and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were employed or discarded.
Credit: Sean Sutton/MAG
Why MAG is needed in Libya
Extensive stockpiles of weapons and explosives that had been stored in bunkers became unsecured during the conflict, leaving open access to those who wanted it.
Most households now have small arms and light weapons, which, in the face of political uncertainty, they’re reluctant to give up. The result is that children in particular are at risk of accidental injury from unsecured guns in their houses.
There are also wider implications for regional stability, with reports of items being moved across borders into neighbouring countries and sub-Saharan Africa, and falling into the hands of non-state military groups.
I would like to thank MAG for their efforts to give us a safer life.
– Tahir Bashir, Head of the Misrata War Museum
Our impact in Libya
July to September 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.
Makeshift 'museums' have been set up in many places, displaying as a reminder of what happened a vast range of mostly fused munitions, from cluster munitions to large calibre rockets. At this one, on Misrata's Tripoli Street, unexploded cluster munitions have been used to write 'February 17' (known as the day of revolt) in Arabic.
Documenting MAG's work to reduce the threat to civilians from unexploded ordnance. (June 2011)
Libya: key facts
• Population: 6.16 million
• Life expectancy: 75 years
• Gross National Income per capita: US $12,930
• People with access to safe drinking water: 54% (Global average 86%)
• People below the poverty line: approx. 33%
Figures: CIA, UNDP, UN Water, World Bank