Landmines, cluster bombs and other explosives inflict appalling injuries that have a devastating impact on people’s futures. Over 5,500 people were killed or injured by landmines and other explosives in 2021. Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine in February 2022, HALO has recorded over 1,000 civilian casualties from mines and UXO and around 300 fatalities, with another 9,000 accidents forecast according to the Ukrainian Government
HALO protects lives by destroying landmines and teaching people, particularly children, how to stay safe until our work is done.
We also work with local partners in countries like Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Colombia and Laos to ensure that landmine victims like Ing receive the support they need to regain their independence and live with dignity.
Mr Ing, Laos
Ing is one of 25,000 people in Laos who have been killed or injured by unexploded cluster bombs. He lost both his arms and the sight in one eye when he hit a cluster bomb whilst cutting his grass. Before his accident, he grew food for his family on their land but after he was injured, the family struggled. His son Sone and daughter Chillid dropped out of school to help care for Ing and the family had to sell their land to make ends meet.
When HALO’s team met Ing, they realised the family needed urgent help and took him to a rehabilitation facility. With the support of COPE (Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise), he was fitted with two prosthetic arms. Having regained his independence Ing hopes to be able to begin farming again soon.
Felicia Pandassala, Programme Officer HALO Angola
Angola's long civil war ended in 2002 and HALO has cleared Huambo Province of all 290 of its minefields – destroying over 13,500 antipersonnel mines in the process. However in 2022 there were five serious accidents with discarded unexploded devices such as grenades and shells found by children. Those accidents killed seven and injured 18 in the Province.
A key driver of the accidents is thought by the local authorities to be the scrap metal trade, where rising prices are encouraging children to hunt for metal and is bringing them into contact with grenades, mortars, shells and other explosives. HALO’s risk education team in Huambo has been visiting schools to ensure children know the risks and how to stay safe.