The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Explosive ordnance and unfortunate impacts in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is one of the countries that has the highest level of contamination with land mines and explosive materials left over from wars. The explosion of these materials and mines is the second main cause of civilian casualties in the country. Indeed, the imposition of continuous wars is considered as one of the biggest threats to the lives of civilians in any region. Mines, a terrible tool in the hands of war, have been secretly buried in the soil and deserts of Afghanistan. These deadly clashes not only endanger people’s lives, but also challenge the country’s daily life and economy. On the other hand, reports show that more than a quarter of mine victims in Afghanistan are children. In a report on the occasion of World Mine Awareness Day, which this year’s slogan is “Protecting people’s lives and ensuring peace”, OCHA said that based on the latest from January 2022 to February 2024, the number of victims (injured and dead) due to the explosion of mines and explosives was 1401 people, of which 86% were children. In the current year, nine children in Ghazni and one child in Herat died as a result of the ex plosion of mines and explosives, and several other children were injured. This unwise label on the devastating achievements of the war in this country is the most wounded narrative that can be extracted from the effects of landmines on the Afghan society. Despite many efforts to clear mines, these hidden dangers still persist. For many Afghans, the threat of landmines continues to stand in their way as an unpleasant and cruel companion of war. They are considered in the silent corners of the society. In the latest report presented by the United Nations, an estimated 1.2 million square meters of land are contaminated with mines and improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan. Also, António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, by referring to wars and armed crises in different countries said that the lives of millions of people living in war zones, especially women and children, are in danger at every step they take. It can be seen that combating the effects of mines in Afghanistan is not a national challenge alone, but an international task that requires active and serious international cooperation. Only by working together can communities suffering from landmines be given hope and find a way to rebuild and restore their daily lives. The existence of mines and unexploded materials not only threatens the physical and mental health of the people, but also limits the use of land for farming. It also hinders economic development and growth in the country and makes low-income families with low economy more at risk of perishing from hunger and poverty. In remote areas of the country, where the land is more polluted with mines, families separate metals from unexploded ordnance and sell them to support their livelihood. This issue can be dangerous, difficult and often fatal, most of these cases threaten people who depend on agriculturebased livelihoods, such as: agriculture, shepherds, ranchers and immigrants returning from abroad. More efforts are needed to clear the earth from the dangers of explosive mines as this will transform communities and, as a result, access to education, health care and natural resources will be restored, and communities will feel free from the dangers of explosives. Mustafa Hashimi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.