Eritrea + 1 more

UNMEE MACC weekly update: 10 Mar 2003

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HIGHLIGHTS
The Information Section upgraded the International Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) for Eritrea to version 3.0. This installation represents a significant advance for the management of all mine action activities in Eritrea

UPDATE

OPERATIONS

The Operations Section's continued to focus on revising its tasking system for all Force and contractor components for the FMAC. The aim is to effectively streamline all FMAC operational tasking and reporting procedures. The EOD HQ Team drafted a revised and recommended tasking system for EOD operations for the review and approval of the Head of the Section.

The Operations Section also reviewed the UNMEE demining and MRE SOPs. Changes were recommended and their implementation will follow shortly.

The EOD Field Team deployed to Sector West where it conducted various operational activities in the Barentu area. The Team's operations in the area were slowed down due to some difficulties with the local administrators and the EDF. The Team intends to travel to Bushuka during the period of 10-14 March 2003.

The PO DD and FMALO traveled to Sector East where they visited and inspected the Slovak demining activities as well as some of the Kenyan operations. They also met with the EEBC Chief Surveyor to discuss issues related to activities concerning reconnaissance of locations for pillars, which are hoped to commence in the near future.

The RLO in Sector West continued to monitor and conduct quality assurance activities for all operations of UXB International in the area. The collection of tracking data, where possible, continued, as well as reconnaissance activities for the PK Force flails tasks. The RLO also conducted a Preliminary Investigation Report on a mine incident that occurred at the beginning of the week on the Ethiopian side of the border.

Medical Coordination

The Medical Coordinator visited the Kenyan Humanitarian Demining Team in Assab where he made a general assessment of the medical competence within the Kenyan demining medical unit as well as an assessment of the unit's pre-hospital medical equipment. He also visited the Slovakian Demining Medical Team where he met with the Chief Medical Officer to discuss issues concerning pre-hospital equipment as well as guidelines concerning the administering of analgesics such as morphine, etc.

INFORMATION

The Information Section's main activity during the week in reference was the upgrade installation of the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) to version 3.0. IMSMA in Eritrea is no longer based on MS Access 2000. Instead it is based on MS SQL Server 2000, which serves as its main database engine. Two IMSMA experts from the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) visited the MACC to assist the Information Section with the installation of this significant upgrade as well as to provide basic induction and training to the Section's staff on the new IMSMA version. The system now has installed an increased set of functionalities and incorporates an extended dependency model ('standard chain of action') which follows International Mine Action Standards (IMAS)-rules for managing all tasks related to mine action operational activities. (For more information on this new IMSMA version, please contact the Head of the Information Section, Gerhard Bectold at Ext. 2123)

In addition to the above mentioned main activity of the Section, the Section conducted business as usual, including basic maintenance work, troubleshooting, virus scanning, software installation as well as ongoing entry of mine-related data into IMSMA with a continued focus on minefield reported by the EDF.

With regard to the gradual out-phasing of the 'Russian maps', the Information Section began to define the color scheme for the altitude polygon units. This color definition will give the topographic maps a faint but informative background display. The out-phasing process is on going.

NOTE: Maps from the Information Section are made available to customers 24 hours from request.

MINE INCIDENT

No mine incidents were reported in Eritrea last week. 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

The MRE Team in Sector West continued MRE activities in the area.

In the near future, the Operations Section intends to deploy BOTH teams to Sector East to provide a concerted MRE presence in the TSZ area for a fortnight. It is hoped that the teams will gather UXO reports and forward these to the KenBat EOD Teams for their action.

CARE has recently appointed a new MRE Coordinator/Supervisor. He will report to the Head of Operations for all liaison and operational coordination activities and to the Director CARE for all administrative duties. While the details of this position are currently still being finalized, the new MRE Coordinator has begun to sort out the insurance issues for the two MRE Team(s).

NOTE: The UNMEE MACC conducts MRE Briefings every THIRD Thursday of the month for interested and newly arrived civilians in the Mission. For Military Observers, the MACC conducts briefings more regularly. For time and location, please contact Mr. Rhaman Mustafizur at the MACC at Ext. 2143. (Lt Col David Momanyi, who is the regular contact person for MRE briefings, is currently on leave.)

UNDP MINE ACTION CAPACITY BUILDING

Eritrean Demining Authority (EDA)

The General Manager of EDA, Gen Tesfay Isaak, recently submitted a proposal to the UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator requesting the transfer of equipment from the UNMEE MACC (UNMAS) to EDA. This equipment was originally purchased for the support of the national humanitarian mine action programme. Due to national events in July 2002, the equipment were again reverted to UNMAS (MACC) custodianship. In submitting his proposal, the General also stipulated that EDA agrees to the three fundamental conditions for future UN support for the Eritrean national mine action programme, which were put forth by the Heads of DPKO, UNDP and UNICEF Headquarters in NY last summer. These three principals are: National mine action activities would be conducted in accordance with International Mine Action Standards (IMAS); that there would be financial transparency of any funds donated; and that there would be transparency in the use of donated equipment.

The submission of the proposal by the General is a significant step forward in the process of re-activating the Eritrean manual clearance teams. However, other very important issues remain to be addressed and clarified, such as funding of wages and operations; establishing and providing the necessary technical assistance for the formation of an adequate accreditation and quality assurance capability within the EDA as well as ensuring supervision for the reactivation of the teams.

Landmine Impact Survey (LIS)

The Landmine Impact Survey fully entered into Phase III of the project, which focuses on the collection of field data. For this purpose, senior staff worked along side the newly trained enumerators.

During the same week in reference, LIS field teams visited 52 communities, which earlier in the process had been identified by the preliminary data collection as contaminated. 28 of the 52 communities visited proved actually to be false positives (i.e. reported first as affected but once visited proven as unaffected). The other 24 communities were surveyed. In addition to the communities visited, requirements for field teams were finalized and purchases were made in preparation for the deployment of the survey teams, which is planned to commence in less than two weeks. At this stage, plans are to first field three teams in the Tigrinya speaking areas, two teams in the Tigre region and one teamin the Saho areas. The LIS Technical Advisor drafted the necessary Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) as well as quality assurance and control documents for the future activities of the field teams.

Victim Assistance (VA)

During the week in reference, the victim assistance component of UNDP's Mine Action Capacity Building Programme (MACBP) focused on project development.

The Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK agreed to fund a proposal for the Enhancement and Data Analysis of the National Survey for People with Disability in Eritrea. The National Survey will produce data on incidence and prevalence of disability throughout Eritrea, including landmine survivors. The National Survey will result in a comprehensive report and serve as a level-two survivor survey. The enhancement component will develop an electronic register of people with disability at both the regional and national level.

An orthopedic database has also been identified. It is a very flexible database system, which can store various kinds of data including patient records, individual and cumulative, figures on equipment, etc. The VA TA believes this database could serve Eritrea very well and therefore initiated debriefings and negotiations with the Ministry of Labour and Human Welfare to determine their level of interest for such a database within their three orthopedic workshops.