Humanitarian mine action in Lebanon (Lebanon)
DCA HMA started in November 2006 to address the threat from cluster munitions of the recent war July-August 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon through the implementation of a BAC project.
Cluster bombs - the threat
During the war a variety of sub munitions were used in battles, artillery and rocket attacks, air strikes, and naval bombardments. From 10 August 2006 and onwards until the cessation of hostilities put an end to the fighting, Israel increased its war efforts significantly, hitting a great number of areas in South Lebanon with attacks with cluster munitions . On an average up to 3,000 bombs, rockets, missiles and artillery rounds were fired per day and it was increased up to 5000 to 6000 daily in the week prior to the ceasefire. There was an extensive use of cluster munitions in latter days after the Security Council had called for an end to the fighting. Two years after the cessation the emerging failure rate is estimated to be of between 10 - 20%.
Southern Lebanon, with its approximately 500.000 inhabitants, is an agricultural society, where the agricultural sector comprises of approximately 50 percent of the population and constitutes about 70 percent of the household income, UXO contamination poses a real and present threat to the villagers.
Despite ongoing clearance efforts during 2007 and 2008, cluster munitions continue to contaminate farm land and infrastructure. It is at present estimated that at the end of 2009 there will be approximately 11 million square meters of contaminated land remaining to be cleared, including agricultural land and infrastructure. Moreover, there are still 1-2 victims of cluster munitions recorded every month in South Lebanon.
DCA HUMANITARIAN MINE ACTION IN LEBANON
In South Lebanon, DanChurchAid (DCA) has been actively involved in the clearance of cluster munitions since the beginning of 2007 with 5 battle area clearance (BAC) teams funded through ECHO/EuropeAid and UNMAS grants. Present funding will end in the end of January 2009. Each team consisted of an international technical advisor (TA), 10 searchers and support staff (medics, drivers).
Since the project became operational on the ground March 2007 and until the 30th of November 2008, DCA 5 BAC teams have cleared approximately 3.09 million square meters through visual and sub-surface search, finding and disposing of 2,818 cluster bombs and pieces of unexploded ordnance in the process.
DCA's Mine Action programme in Lebanon has in 2006 ' 2008 been supported by:
Private funds and donations
In October 2008, all staff of the Mine Action Programme in South Lebanon including DCA was recipient of the Nansen Refugee Award 2008
Von: 15.12.2008, www.reliefweb.int