LANDI KOTAL/KHAR: Speakers at functions held in Bara and Khar in connection with the International Mines Awareness Day (April 4) said that landmines still posed a threat to the lives of local residents despite restoration of peace.

In this regard, an event was jointly organised by Bara Press Club and Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to educate the returned families of Bara and Tirah on the hazards of hidden landmines and preventive measures to safeguard their lives and belongings.

They said that landmines planted by either militants or the security personnel for their safety posed a threat to the lives of residents of Gandaw, Dawra and Landi Kallay in Sipah and Sheen Kamar area near Mastak.

International Mines Awareness Day observed

The speakers said that a number of blasts involving hidden landmines and resulting in casualties were reported during the last five years as majority of the internally displaced families returned to Bara.

Said Ayaz Wazir, president of Bara Tajir Union, said that physical disability caused due to landmines was also impacting the local youth psychologically.

Malik Mohammad Amin, a local elder, called for collective efforts to educate the people on identification of hidden explosives and assisting the affected persons. “Local philanthropists should provide monetary assistance to the poor people who have lost their organs in landmine explosions,” he said.

Dr Jahangir, MS of Dogra hospital in Bara, said that the government and relevant organisations should focus on the rehabilitation and treatment of those who had lost their limbs in landmine blasts or other such incidents.

Immad Nasir, provincial project coordinator of PRCS, said that they had started community-based risk education and victims’ assistance in 2015 for educating local communities about protection from landmines through local focal persons.

In Khar, participants of a function held in connection with International Mines Awareness Day have stressed the need for joint efforts to educate the community about the dangers of mines in Bajaur tribal district.

The function was arranged by PRCS local chapter here the other day which was attended by tribal elders, political and social activists and persons with disabilities.

PRCS local secretary Tariq Zaman said that the day had been observed across the world since 2005 to promote awareness among the people of hazards of hidden landmines.

It was stated that risk education was significant part of the PRCS programme under which sessions had been conducted in schools and communities to develop a framework for implementation of community-based approach to reduce risks of mines.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2019

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