INAPPRORIATE MANAGEMENT OF THE UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE BY ISAF, CAUSES CASUALTIES TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY’S CHILDREN IN KHOST PROVINCE
In the picture: A child who lost his hand in UXO explosion
On April 6, 2013, four community children were collecting wood and scrap metals in an open area, one kilo meter away from an ISAF base in the Mattoon district of Khost province. During this exercise, they were caught by an explosion resulting from an Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), killing a girl and a boy and injuring the other two. From the other two boys, one has lost an eye and the other lost a hand and they were all members of one family.
The area where this explosion has happened is called the ISAF training ground, located very close to the community people, and an open area which everyone can use to bypass the area for their routine business.
The victims of this incident were instantly transferred to nearest hospital, where eventually, two of them lost their lives and the other two were survived and remained with disabilities.
On the same day, after the MACCA regional office in Gardez received this news via UNDSS, we coordinated dispatching one of the MCPA LIAT teams to the place where this accident had occurred, says MACCA operations assistant in Gardez.” During the assessment and investigation of the MCPA LIAT team, a local community member Mr. Said Agha, shared, that there is this coalition forces’ base for almost 10 years now, the base has occupied a huge land close to the our village. He added, that, no one is allowed to walk nearby their base, and they have even declared 200 meters area of around their camp as a no go zone, saying anyone getting close to the camp will be shot down without any prior warning.
He further says, “These restrictions have made our lives very hard, as we have to walk a long distance for obtaining food, collecting woods, grazing animals, and visiting relatives who were living on other side of their base.” He continues, “When coalition forces stops trainings here, we will be happy and can begun a normal life; as you can see, all these mismanagements, born another catastrophe coming across all of these poor people.”
The demining activity can be physically started after the coalition forces stops their trainings in this area, where then the area will be surveyed and will include in the operational plan. For now, MRE teams are tasked to conduct MRE seasons for the neighboring communities and the teams are also negotiating to polygon the area and to convince the military forces to move their trainings to a safer place where there is no harm to the local people.