UNMEE MACC weekly update: 28 Jul 2003
There were two mine incidents in Sector Center last week. (For more information see below under 'Mine Incident.' If you wish to obtain more details than listed below, please contact the MACC OIC, David Bax at ext. 2169).
A number of MACC staff returned from home leave, including the Operations Officer, the Regional Liaison Officers for Sector East and West and the Programme Officer.
In response to the recent mine incidents of the past several weeks, the Operations Section completed its review and revision of the Mine Threat Assessment document for Eritrea. (For more information about this document, please refer to the MACC Operations Section at Ext. 2169 or 2161).
The Operations staff at headquarters also completed the review of all Operations Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The MACC EOD Team conducted a reconnaissance exercise in the Saburita area. In addition, the Team continued to provide support to the Mortal Remains return project in the Baala and Saburita areas.
The Programme Officer Demining for Demarcation was responsible for EEBC reconnaissance activities. Planned demining tasks for next month were sent to the MALO/Addis Ababa.
The Regional Liaison Officer for Sector East traveled to Sector East where he dealt with various remaining issues regarding the mortal remains site in Baala and Saburita. He also liaised with the KENBATT and visited the Slovak demining site at point 73.
The Medical Coordinator is currently on leave. He will return to the Mission at the beginning of August 2003.
The Information Section continued to input various mine action data for Eritrea into the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA), in particular UXO data as well as completion report data. In addition, data from the Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) was entered into the "Negative Sampling" database.
Some 20 road legs (which had been cleared but whose precise geographical location thus far had remained unclear) have been accurately tracked with a GPS during the past few months. Accordingly, the correct road data was entered into IMSMA last week and previously entered completion reports were corrected.
The staff of the Information Section continues to regularly check and quality control all incoming data intended for entry into IMSMA and other databases for mine action.
In total, the Section printed thirty-four maps for various customers, including the EEBC, the LIS and the MACC Operations Section.
The Section further improved the village database, synchronizing all village locations and names in the various data files.
The IMSMA Officer continues to assist the Eritrean Demining Authority (EDA) in configuring their IT unit, preparing a work plan, as well as determining a work flow for EDA.
NOTE: Agencies and clients who would like to obtain maps will have their requests fulfilled within 24 hours. Please contact the Chief of Information (Ext.2123) for further information.
There were two mine incidents in Sector Center last week. The first incident occurred 10.5 km outside of Asmara on 19 July 2003 while two men were loading rocks on to a dump truck. In an attempt to facilitate their action, the driver of the truck drove over some ground towards the pile of rocks when it initiated a mine. One of the men was killed and the other remained uninjured. It is presumed that it was a plastic cased anti-tank mine as there were no fragments found. The area where the mine exploded was a former battlefield during Eritrea's 1970 struggle for independence.
A second mine incident occurred on 25 July 2003 on the road near Endabestefanos IDP camp where a tractor hit a mine injuring both the tractor driver and his assistant. This road is reportedly a frequently traveled road. It is suspected that the anti-tank mine was placed on the road during the night of July 24 2003. A second anti-tank mine (M3) was found shortly after the incident on the road Una Waltot. A RONCO demining team removed the anti-tank mine.
Investigations are on going and the UNMEE MACC is in the process of compiling the relevant Preliminary Investigations Reports (PIR).
UNMEE personnel are reminded to report any UXO or mine related incident to the nearest MACC Sector Office, Force Unit or UNMO Team Site. Capacity exits within these elements to conduct investigations, complete IMSMA report forms and forward these reports to the UNMEE MACC.
MINE RISK EDUCATION (MRE)
The two MACC MRE Field Teams visited several IDP camps in Adi-Keshi and in Gheremphit (subzoba Augaro) where they conducted MRE activities for approximately 500 people of different ages and sex.
The FMAC MRE staff conducted their regular MRE briefing to six newly arrived UNMOs and five newly arrived UNMEE civilian staff.
NOTE: UNICEF and the UNMEE MACC conduct MRE Briefings every THIRD Thursday of the month for interested and newly arrived civilians in the Mission. For Military Observers, the FMAC conducts briefings more regularly. For time and location, please contact Lt Col David Momanyi at the MACC at Ext. 2158 or UNICEF's MRE Coordinator, Ms Lejla Susic at 15 11 99, ext. 363.
UNDP MINE ACTION CAPACITY BUILDING
Landmine Impact Survey (LIS)
After the Operational Review the survey started to make use of recce teams to address the high false positive rate and better utilize survey assets. Last week the recce teams were deployed into the field. The output of the recce teams are to produce a list of communities to be surveyed (true positive) and a list of communities to be sampled (false negative) based upon the outcome of coordination meetings with sub-Zoba administrators and field activities. The aim is to produce a more accurate tasking plan for the survey teams in order to increase productivity and efficiency.
Recce Team One was deployed to sub-Zobas Adobha, Sela and Kerkebet. Recce Team Two was deployed to sub-Zobas Hagaz, Halhal, Habero and Asmat. Their deployment period will last from 17 July 2003 to 7 August 2003.
The survey groups were deployed into eight different sub-Zobas during 9 July through 3 August 2003 for group two and 7 August for group one. Group one was deployed to sub-Zobas Karvra and Nakfa. Group two was deployed to sub-Zoba's Areza, Adi Keyih, Senafe, Anseba and Molqi.
In total, to date, approximately 1120 communities have been visited and classified. Out of these 1120 communities approximately 250 communities are to be found mine/UXO affected. These figures are approximate as final confirmation will be received once the field survey teams return from the field. Rate in between True and False Positive for the previous week is 29%/71%.
Training of additional language group enumerators commenced on 21 July 2003 with 14 enumerators. The training will be completed by the 2 August 2003 and the newly trained enumerators will be deployed with experienced enumerators as translators to gain some field experience. Thereafter the enumerators will be deployed with other experienced enumerators in the applicable language areas.
An EU monitoring team visited the survey to evaluate the survey in terms of relevance, design, efficiency and sustainability. Overall feedback recommendations was very positive and constructive.
Victim Assistance (VA)
Over the past six months, UNDP's Mine Action Senior Technical Advisors and other involved players have developed the Revised Mine Action Capacity Building Programme Document. Eritrea's Macropolicy representatives have now signed off on this document. This is a confident step in the right direction for mine action capacity building partners in Eritrea.
Negotiations with the International Center for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) to develop training and build professional capacity are almost complete. The ICACBR is one of the top Universities in the field of community base rehabilitation. The VA Senior Technical Advisor and her team of staff are pleased that this particular University is considering working relationships with Eritrea. The ICACBR have requested a partnership with UNDP within the victim support section. UNDP is happy to realize this request and is awaiting a last letter of support from the Government of Eritrea. A visit from representatives of the University is proposed during the period 22 September and 2 October 2003.
The controller in New York has cleared the funds for the analysis of the data of the National Survey on People with Disabilities in Eritrea. The first section of the Memorandum of Understanding is in draft. The National Survey is an important source of information, as various kinds of data and other information have been collected throughout Eritrea on people with disability. The survey is substantive and comprehensive. The result of this phase of development will be an electronic register in each Zoba. As a next step, a national database is planned, which will keep all information regarding people with disabilities in Eritrea up to date from this time onwards.
Andrea E. Poelling