Civic Education Measures Against Land Mines (Mozambique)
Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo) - The Mozambican government's National Demining Institute (IND) plans to hold 160 civic education lectures on the danger of land mines in the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane, and in Sofala, Manica and Tete in the centre of the country, as part of its efforts to reduce the number of deaths and injuries in mine accidents.
This determination was announced on Sunday, to coincide with the tenth anniversary of Mozambique's implementation of the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel land mines. Mozambique signed the convention in 1998, and implementation began on 1 March 1999.
Fernando Mulima, head of the IND's Studies and Planning Department, said that this year a further 250 local community agents will be trained to make the population living in areas where there are still unremoved mines aware of the dangers.
Mulima said that the demining programme intends to guarantee greater security and freedom of movement, and to make cleared land available for economic and social activities.
Demining has led to a substantial reduction in mine accidents. In 2008, only three cases were reported which resulting in seven casualties, three of whom died.
In the package of activities for this year, the IND also intends to step up assistance to people injured by mines and their socio-economic reintegration. The IND has identified 200 victims of land mines who will benefit from assistance this year.
Under the Ottawa Convention, Mozambique had ten years to complete demining. But the task proved much more difficult than initially believed, and so Mozambique requested, and was granted, an extra five years to complete the task. So the deadline for Mozambique to become a country free of land mines is now 2014.
Von: 01.03.2009, www.allafrica.com