US$6 million given for clearing land mines in four states and regions

Writer: 
Nay Rai + Zeyar Tun
The International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action was held in Nay Pyi Taw. (Photo-Zeyar Tun)

US$6 million will be spent on eradicating landmines and unexploded ordnance which still endanger civilians in four designated places—Shan State, Kachin State, Kayin State and Taninthayi Region.

The move was announced at the ceremony of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, which was held in Nay Pyi Taw on April 4.

The funds will be also spent on launching education programs on the danger of landmines, providing assistance with landmines victims, promoting capacity, and carrying out landmine information management.

“Our Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement is working together with INGOs and organisations who signed MoU with us. Our ministry initiated to launch education on the danger of landmines. However, a single ministry cannot do itself, and the process will include multiple ministries. The INGOs have said that US$5.9million would be spent on the landmine eradication process,” Dr San San, Acting Director-General of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, said.

A total of 298 people were killed or injured because of landmines during 2015 and 2016, according to the ministry.

The government, the UNICEF and the CSOs are working together in launching landmine risk education programme in nine states and regions where a population of 115,000 people is currently at risk from landmines and other ordnance left over from the war.

 

“The government must take notice of the landmine problem at a time when it places emphasis on peace. The government shouldn’t wait for the mine clearance work. If the landmines are still there, the children and the whole community will be in jeopordy,’ the UNICEF representative Mr. Bertrand Bainvel said.   

 

Translated by Win Htut