DR Congo

MAG DRC Programme Update Sep 2008

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SUMMARY

Reporting Period: 01 September 2008 - 30 September 2008

Summary of outputs:

- Search and clearance of a total of 121,762 m2 of land through a combination of hand, and visual techniques

- Removal and destruction of a total of 2,866 hazardous items by the HMA teams

- Destruction of 1,100 weapons by the CWMD teams1

- 128 Dangerous Areas identified

- 149 Mine Risk Education sessions conducted, targeting 3,560 beneficiaries

Key activities:

A significant success in September was the receipt of an agreement from the Ministry of the Interior to allow MAG to destroy surplus stocks belonging to the National Congolese Police. To date, MAG has been focusing on military stocks (Army, Navy and Air Force); this agreement opens a second pillar within the CWMD programme. The destruction of police stocks will significantly reinforce the impact of the CWMD program on the safety of the civilian population and on peacebuilding at a national and regional level.

Another key activity in September was MAG's participation in the national working session organized by the UNMACC and UNICEF for the development of Mine Risk Education materials. It has improved the resources available nationally for sensitization activities, and was especially useful for local NGOs, who benefited from the specialized knowledge shared by international organizations delivering HMA.

Also in September the MAG International Development and Evaluation Team (IDET) were in country to carry out an evaluation of the operations and supporting functions of MAG DRC. One of the IDET members visited the HMA teams in Katanga while the other one was in Equateur. Time was also spent in Kinshasa, working with the Senior Management Team on the development of new projects and partnerships as well as undertaking a general review of the programme. This annual mission is key to improving the MAG programme and the impact it has on its beneficiaries.

ACTIVITIES

Equateur

The Manual Clearance Team (MCT) funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency completed the Battle Area Clearance task in Mbandaka, clearing a total of 111,712 m2 of land. An official land release ceremony was conducted with the local authorities. In total, 117 UXO and 1,171 miscellaneous items such as bullets, fuses and charges were removed and successfully destroyed in a bulk demolition.

In the work funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MAG's Manual Clearance Team (MCT) carried out various spot tasks around Gemena, including the destruction of FARDC stocks and items from an abandoned ammunition cache in Libenge. MAG's Organisational Development Advisor (also funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs) has continued working on the reinforcement of the management and financial structures of the local NGO Humanitas Ubangi, (HU) while the Community Liaison Manager (CLM) detached to HU focused on on-the-job training to improve reporting skills.

Katanga

At the beginning of the month, the CLM working in Katanga represented MAG at a national working session organized by the UNMACC and UNICEF in Bukavu. The goal was to develop high-quality, standardized national Mine Risk Education materials based on the sharing of existing materials developed by each organization. During the course of the workshop, MAG's contribution was given special acknowledgement by the representatives of the mine action community in DRC. MAG would like to reiterate its profound sadness following the death in the Bukavu plane crash of the three Handicap International staff who were coming to participate in this meeting.

The HMA teams funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UK Department for International Development worked in the surroundings of Mutotomoya, Pepa, Moba and Pweto. The Community Liaison Teams (CLT) identified 128 new Dangerous Areas, and conducted 149 sensitization sessions for 3,560 beneficiaries. The MCTs cleared 189 Dangerous Areas, thus improving access to 61 agricultural sites, 42 housing sites, 1 medical facility and 20 roads.

Finally, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) donated the barge which crosses the Luvua River near Pweto to MAG. MAG will continue running the barge service for the humanitarian community, thus enabling the continuation of humanitarian activities in the zone west of Pweto.

Conventional Weapons Management and Disposal (CWMD)

The mobile CWMD team funded by the United States Department of State deployed at the end of the month from Lubumbashi to Kamina (6th Military Region), to conduct a major operation consisting of the destruction of 80 tons of ammunition. Weapons destruction at the Central Logistics Base in Kinshasa has continued, with a total of 1,100 weapons being destroyed over the course of the month.

The CWMD team funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs deployed at the end of the month to Lodja in the northern part of Kasai Oriental, 5th Military Region. The second team worked on logistics issues related to the smooth running of operations (such as creating clear inventories and improving storage facilities for technical equipment) and started reviewing the technical Standard Operations Procedures (SOPs) for the CWMD program.

For more information on this or any of MAG's programmes across the world please visit www.maginternational.org, or contact:
Nicky Asfaw (Regional Desk Officer)
e-mail: Nicky.Asfaw@maginternational.org
MAG, 47 Newton Street, Manchester, M1 1FT, UK
Tel: +44 161 236 4311
Fax: +44 161 236 6244