Mine Risk Education involves HALO teams visiting schools or community centres to warn people, particularly children, of the dangers of straying into minefields or tampering with unexploded ordnance.
The results of MRE varies from country to country. Some external studies have shown that as many as 95% of mines and ordnance casualties had previously received MRE from HALO or other agencies such as UNICEF. Sadly simple economic necessity, such as shepherding their flocks or cutting firewood, causes people to enter minefields. In areas such as this future casualties will only be avoided by the deployment of HALO demining teams to remove the risk.
In other countries the combination of MRE, common sense and less pressure for land has meant that the number of human casualties has declined considerably. Sadly the irony is that without “human casualties” many donors or agencies consider mineclearance funding to be either unnecessary or of very low priority. This can result in significant economic impacts, such as large areas of farmland left uncultivated, frequent livestock casualties and even access to water and markets denied. The only real answer is to clear the mines.