UNMAS - A human security lifeline
Somalia has been plagued by civil conflict for the past twenty years, leaving a legacy of landmines, unexploded and abandoned ordnance (AXO/UXO) and stockpiles littering the country. These explosive hazards, known collectively as Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), frequently kill and maim unknowing men, women, boys and girls, and are a pose a particular threat for the thousands of people fleeing the ongoing conflict or environmental conditions.
United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has undertaken explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), survey, and mine and ERW awareness and avoidance activities throughout south central Somalia since early 2008. As clearance activities are initiated, the immediate priority to protect the civilian population and the workers delivering lifesaving humanitarian goods and services from death and injury is mine/ERW and IED awareness.
In order to help Somalia’s most vulnerable groups manage the mine/ERW threat in the midst of war and famine, UNMAS thus aims at the following:
1: Protection capacities in Somalia (Child Protection Networks, Advocates, UNICEF and UNHCR staff, and others) are enhanced to provide basic mine/ERW awareness information, including appropriate materials for men, women, girls and boys in the most vulnerable conditions.
2: Awareness of the threat of mines and ERW, and the avoidance information to prevent death or injury is available for displaced women, men, boys and girls, and other vulnerable groups in an age and gender appropriate manner.
3: Humanitarian actors providing basic lifesaving services in mine/ERW/IED affected parts of South Central Somalia are aware of the explosive threats and how to avoid them.
4: Dissemination of awareness messaging via radio reaches as wide a base of mine/ERW affected communities as possible.