Afghanistan

The Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan allows 1,000 families to return to their homes on Kabul TV hill

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Kabul, 20 June 2007. On 21st June, 2007 the Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan (MAPA) will release 70,000 square meters of cleared residential area to 1,000 families on Kabul TV Hill. This area is part of vast impacted area of landmines and Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) of 500,000 square meters. The clearance work on this 70,000 square meters area started in December 2006; and a total of 103 antipersonnel mines and 2,564 UXO were found and destroyed. The completion of this task will allow around one 1,000 families to returned to their house and enjoy life in a safe and secure environment. Immediately after the war, 500,000 square meters of land were founded contaminated by landmines and UXO on the Kabul TV hill. In 1998 media reported that in a week almost 1,000 people were injured or killed by mines and UXO in that area. Today more than 440,000 square meters have been cleared and over 1,942 anti personnel mines and 7,386 UXO were destroyed. Thanks to the work of manual clearance teams almost 7,000 families have already retuned to the hill and rebuilt their houses. TV Hill is now one of the most populated areas in the centre of the city. The handover ceremony will take place at Thursday 21 June at 10:00 am, on the top of the TV Hill.

The United Nations Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (UNMACA) has been coordinating Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan (MAPA) activities such as minefield clearance, battlefield clearance, mine risk education and supporting mine victims throughout the country since 1989. The MAPA has cleared more than one billion square meters area, destroyed more than 345,900 anti personnel and antitank mines, and more than 7,100,000 pieces of UXO since 1989. Afghanistan became a State Party to the Ottawa Convention in March 2003 and committed to clearing all minefields in the country by 2013.

Media wishing to attend the ceremony should contact UNMACA's press office.

Media Contact: Ahmad Jan Nawzadi Public Information Officer Mobile: 0700 227417 Email: nawzadi@unmaca.org