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Creating a safe space for communities affected by landmines in South Sudan

Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has been working to create a safe space for communities affected by landmines in South Sudan since 2013. In February 2022, DRC conducted a survey in Magwi County, Eastern Equatoria, and found a high level of landmine contamination in the country. To address this issue, DRC adopted a Humanitarian Mine Action model that aims to create a hazard-free environment for communities and enhance their skills through explosive ordnance risk education.

Rose Mwelu

Posted on 28 Mar 2023

Since 2013, DRC has cleared approximately 629,125 square meters of landmines in Magwi County, making it safe for community members like Agness Aloyo to live and work on their lands.

Agness moved to Amika village in 2019 with little knowledge of the danger posed by landmines.

She frequently heard loud explosives when bushes were burning, which made her fear for her life.

However, after DRC cleared the land off landmines, Agness is now able to conduct her agricultural activities normally, sell her produce, and support her family without fear. 

Before DRC came here, we lived in fear. We didn’t know when we could be hit by landmine explosives. They cleared the land and now I am able to live here without fear. I move freely around the home and my farmland. As you can see that is my garden over there. I have planted maize for this season. I plan to plant sorghum and cassava for next season. With this garden, I am able to sell some of my produce and feed my family members as well.

/  Agness, a resident of Magwi County, South Sudan

Explosive ordnance risk education

Explosive ordnance risk education

Thanks to the explosive ordnance risk education provided by DRC, community members are also equipped with the skills to report suspicious landmine remnants to DRC's demining team.

In 2022, DRC responded to 30 reported cases of possible landmine explosives in the area. In 2019, DRC destroyed 1,712 landmines and provided explosive ordnance risk education to 45,542 people, including women, youth, and men.

Overall, DRC's efforts to create a safe and landmine-free environment for communities in South Sudan have allowed community members to access roads, schools, and hospitals freely without fear of injury or death due to landmine explosions.

Demining activities in Magwi County, South Sudan

Across South Sudan, protracted civil war has left many communities suffering from the effects of mines and unexploded ordnances. DRC’s mine action and cluster munitions project In Magwi County seeks to create safe spaces for communities affected by landmines.

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