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Life Amidst Landmines: Ahmed's Journey of Survival and Hope

In the town of Hodeida, Yemen, landmines pose a serious challenge faced by civilians as a result of the armed conflict that has been ongoing since 2015. The use of landmines has spread widely in Hodeidah during the conflict, posing a significant threat to the lives and safety of civilians.

Nuha Haider

Posted on 05 Feb 2024

Ahmed's Life:

Ahmed, a 24-year-old young man, is the eldest member of his family, which consists of 13 people. After the death of his father 9 months ago, Ahmed became the main provider for the family.

Prior to that, they relied on the father's meager income, which did not exceed 17,000 Yemeni rials [32 dollars].

This amount was not sufficient to meet their basic needs, so Ahmed and his siblings worked alongside their father in any daily work they could do to earn extra income to support themselves.

This is our normal daily life. We divide ourselves into groups in the morning, with one group going to collect firewood to sell, and another group taking care of preparing food.

/  Ahmed, landmine victim

Work and Danger:

Due to the danger of landmines planted in the current area of Hodeidah Governorate, Ahmed's family was forced to leave their home and move to another area considered safer. They now live in a single shelter with only a kitchen and a bathroom.

Ahmed used to go daily to collect firewood from an area known as a landmine-contaminated area in the past.

Despite claims of clearing the area of landmines, there are still people losing their lives due to the presence of mines there. Even with Ahmed's awareness of the danger of the area, he felt safe as he had not experienced any accidents during his daily visits.

Ahmed's Injury:
Nuha Haider

Ahmed's Injury:

On one of his regular mornings, as he always did, Ahmed went out with his friend to collect firewood to sell in the market.

In the early hours of their work, a mine exploded. Ahmed was injured and was quickly transported by the donkey they used to carry the firewood to the hospital.

Treatment Journey:
Nuha Haider

Treatment Journey:

Ahmed arrived at the hospital in Hodeidah on December 27, 2023, in an extremely critical condition. With support from the European Union Humanitarian Aid, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) was able to cover the entirety of Ahmed's treatment expenses as a crucial part of their victim assistance program.

Due to the severity of his injuries, his right leg had to be amputated immediately, and he sustained extensive injuries to his body, necessitating three life-saving surgeries.

Given the critical nature of Ahmed's health condition and the need for advanced and specialised interventions, DRC made the decision to transfer him to Sana'a.

In Sana'a, he underwent two additional surgeries to address his critical condition. To aid in his recovery, DRC also provided financial support to Ahmed, assisting him with daily subsistence and transportation expenses.

I am grateful to DRC that took full responsibility for my treatment, without them, I couldn't have received the treatment or imagined my current condition.

/  Ahmed, landmine victim

Nuha Haider

When Ahmed's condition improves over several months, DRC will maintain direct contact with him in order to support him throughout the recovery process and refer him to the necessary services.

During this time, DRC will facilitate his transfer to another specialized organization to fit him with a prosthetic limb to ensure he reaches the maximum benefit and can return to his previous life as much as possible.

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