Date Published: 4 April 2007
Canadian Government support *Vital markers for a safer living environment* (UNICEF)
An additional 133 square kilometers of suspected mine areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) will be clearly marked with 10,400 warning signs. With funding from the Government of Canada, UNICEF is providing the signs and other equipment to the BH Mine Action Centre, a local NGO.
An estimated one million landmines and explosive remnants of war are among the many dangerous legacies of the conflict of the 1990s that continue to face the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including children. Unless dangerous areas are clearly marked, people may forget or ignore their existence in the flurry of daily life.
“ BH MAC expresses its gratitude to UNICEF and Canada for everything done on mine action so far, especially for mine risk education and marking of suspicious territories,” said Mr Dušran Gavran, BH MAC Director.
“ Mines will be a threat in BiH for a long time, so continuous Mine Risk Education and minefield marking are necessary to avoid new victims of mines and unexploded ordnances. The solution to this complex problem is an effective and efficient involvement of local government at all levels, with the indispensable help of the International Community, and a high degree of awareness among all inhabitants of mine-affected communities to avoid the accidents that are, unfortunately, part of our everyday life,”
H.E. David Hutchings, the Ambassador of Canada and UNICEF Representative June Kunugi handed over the warning signs to Mr. Gavran, as part of the observance of Mine Action Day 2007.
The marking of mine-contaminated areas is an essential component of risk reduction at the community level, as highlighted by research and feedback from field visits. It is a constant reminder of the lurking danger of landmines and the most efficient tool against complacency.