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Unamid scales up UXO risk education across Darfur

November 24 - 2015 EL FASHER
(Unamid Photo)
(Unamid Photo)

Recently, three children were killed when a grenade exploded in North Darfur. To reduce the occurrence of such incidents, Unamid's Ordnance Disposal Office (ODO) has conducted more than 294 educational programmes on explosive war remnants, targeting local communities, especially children, across Darfur from July to October this year.

As reported by Radio Dabanga, a grenade blast in Mellit locality in North Darfur killed three children and wounded two others. Days later, a young mother and her child died when an unexploded ordnance (UXO) detonated in East Jebel Marra.

“Risk education teams have been active in all five states of Darfur and responsible for raising awareness at all levels,” stated Shaza Ragab, working for the ODO in North Darfur.

Ragab revealed that the ODO visited schools and sensitised children through drama and songs and other art forms of community theatre on the dangers of unexploded war remnants. “Through cogent collaboration and coordination with the Ministry of Education, ODO trains teachers on approaches, knowledge and precautions on explosive remnants of war. They, in turn, impart this knowledge to the local community,” she explained in a press release.

Additionally, since radio is the most common and effective medium of information and communication in Darfur, ODO usually informs, educates and communicates to the people of Darfur on safer behaviours through live and recorded programmes broadcast by Unamid Radio on Darfur FM Radio, which is said to reach more than two million people in Darfur.

“It is also our responsibility to clear the contaminated areas of explosive remnants of war and make them safe so that people can go about their normal activities without fear or threat,” she added.

Beside education and sensitisation campaigns and destruction of unexploded ordnances, the office has also been supporting survivors of explosions through psychological counselling, treatment and vocational training.

Years of conflict have left Darfur littered with potentially deadly explosives and munitions (UXO). Radio Dabanga appeals to listeners throughout Darfur (and elsewhere in our reception area) not to touch any ‘unexploded’ grenades or other ammunition found in the field. Mark its position clearly to alert others, and report it immediately to a camp elder, Unamid and/or the local police.

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