On the east coast of the Black Sea lies Abkhazia, a place of beautiful mountains and forests. In the Gudauta region is the small village of Primorsky. One year ago, the peace of the local residents was shattered when an explosion tore through a nearby military ammunition warehouse. Thousands of bombs and ammunition were thrown over a vast area. Three people were killed and 64 were injured. Twelve houses were completely destroyed and over 100 damaged. The fallout from the blast littered the village and surrounding land with thousands of explosives including huge aircraft bombs—posing a serious threat to local people.
HALO immediately began work to make the area safe, clearing high risk areas around homes and schools first, destroying more than 33,000 explosive items in the process. One year on the village is beginning to rebuild and confidence is returning.
"There were so many explosions, all day and night, it didn't stop. With all the burning, night became as light as day. I ran to my brother's house where I could hide. There were eleven children there—thank God none were injured but we had to pull other people from their houses." Levars Otirba, local resident.
"We couldn’t even walk there were so many explosives left behind. My home was damaged by an anti-tank grenade. But HALO did so much work here—it’s difficult to explain how much work was done here." Tuman Trapsh Akhmatovich, Primorsky sheep farmer.
There is still much work to be done to remove all the explosives from Primorksy but one year on from the terrible accident huge progress has been made, allowing the village and its residents to begin to rebuild their lives.
"To HALO and their supporters I can only say one thing: 'thank you very much.' The deminers have done so much work here. Around us were so many explosives but nobody has had an accident and this is why I want to say thank you." Tuman Trapsh Akhmatovich