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With few prospects for permanent work, the family are reliant on casual labour or what the land near their home can provide. The mushroom harvest is an opportunity Noh and Nah cannot afford to miss if they are to survive but foraging here comes at a risk. The notorious K5 barrier minefield runs across the land, threatening the lives of the villagers.


Noh and Nah are worried about the landmines. Nah's younger brother describes seeing a ‘big mine’ up on the hill where the families forage. They are afraid that if one of them gets injured the family will be unable to support itself but the mushrooms are so valuable they feel there is little choice but to take the risk. As Nah explains: “You don’t know how the season will be next time, we have to go to the hill to get the mushrooms.”


However, soon the family will be able to forage safely. Thanks to funding from the US Department of State, HALO began clearing the landmines near to Thmar Duon village in August 2018 and has found 62 mines to date—all of which could have killed or caused terrible injuries. In a few weeks the minefield will be finished and next year, when the rains and mushrooms come, Noh, Nah and the other villagers will be able to gather their precious harvest without fear.

The HALO Trust

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