Joint Mine Action Coordination Team – Libya Weekly Report 23 January, 2012

News and Press Release
Originally published

DDG clears 120 ERW in Sirte

After a week of training and “gearing” up, all Danish Demining Group (DDG) teams were eager to get dirty again and dispose of explosive remnants of war (ERW) in Sirte.

Three teams cleared 37 tasks reported by the local community and disposed of 120 ERW. On top of this, they cleared three additional schools as requested by ACTED/CESVI to prepare for the first day of school for the kids since the war.

All operational staff spent one day cleaning up and moving the ERW store at the Central Demolition Site from a sand hole that fills slowly with drifting sand to higher, harder ground and a more organized and well marked area. All teams also conducted CASEVAC training, which was tested with good results.

FSD clears 48 shops, 12 mosques and 3 farms

The Swiss Foundation for Mine Action's (FSD) task to destroy the Ammunition Storage Area (ASA) in Tobruk remains on hold as they await the necessary explosives.

Similarly, FSD's Weapons and Ammunition Disposal (WAD) and Explosive Harvesting (EH) projects are also on hold pending political decisions. However, FSD teams remain active in Sirte, working on Battle Area Clearance and conducting spot tasks.

In the Nafusa Mountains, FSD continues its Risk Education (RE) programs with the start of the school year, and finalizing the assessment of its impact.

FSD is now planning for an RE intervention in Sirte, and participated in last week's JMACT workshop on RE coordination in Tripoli.

DCA Has Cleared 2,257 Mines/ERW Since April

With 7 international staff and 28 national staff, DanChurchAid (DCA) has managed to clear a total of 2,257 mines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) across the country.

This comprises five clearance teams and one risk education (RE) team on the ground.

Thanks to their RE programme, DCA has managed to reach over 244,000 Libyans, informing them of the risks associated with mines and ERW and how to respond in the face of such threats.

MAG Gives RE to Board of Education

Last week, Mines Advisory Group returned to Libya and national staff underwent refresher training in Battle Area Clearance (BAC), CASEVAC and Medical prior to deploying in Ajdabiya, Sirte, Misrata and Zintan from 14 January. The Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) in Misrata also received refresher training before conducting Risk Education (RE) sessions in one school and reporting two Dangerous Areas.

In Ajdabiya, the CLOs provided the Board of Education with an RE session and as a result also received permission to give RE in local schools and reported two further DAs. In Sirte, the CLO is assisting in the recruitment of searchers to work in Sirte.

In Misrata, clearance teams resumed work in the Tamina area at the old Artillery Site; this task was started in November and will continue for the coming weeks. Meanwhile, in Ajdabiya, two clearance teams will return to the Hyna Ammunition Supply Point and two teams will conduct Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) spot tasks. In Zintan, teams planned to resume EOD and BAC tasks.

ICRC Focuses on Direct Humanitarian Impact

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team redeployed to Sirte on 15 January, and met with local counterparts and other clearance NGOs to get an update about the contamination and clearance activities taking place. The ICRC team responds directly to dangerous areas reported by the local population in and around Sirte through Risk Education, rather than focusing on one specific geographical area of the city. The Libyan Red Crescent Society volunteers are supporting the EOD team with community liaison and conducting Risk Education. Focus is on tasks with a direct humanitarian impact, clearing houses in use, farms, and clearance of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) at the Zone 3 clinic that people have been, out of desperation, transporting to the clinic. ICRC has collected casualty data in and around Sirte. To date 21 casualties have been recorded since 26 October (though there may be more). The majority are male children, 16 were injured and five killed. Most accidents are caused by playing or tampering with UXO, and a number also resulted from cleaning homes after the conflict.The team in Nafusa Mountains started the week with assessing the area in general. After that the team has been responding to the reported dangerous areas in various places in Nafusa Mountains.

The EOD team in Sirte will focus fully on responding to reported dangerous areas and start to investigate the contamination of schools in the outskirts of Sirte. The team in Nafusa Mountains are going westward to Nalut for a few days to clear reported dangerous areas and after that the area between Assaba and Gharyan will be assessed after the recent clashes. ICRC's Risk Education Field Officer will follow up on volunteers, including from Nalut Red Crescent branch, that had been trained by ICRC in the summer 2011, and will inform the local population about ICRC's clearance activities and identify reporting centers for UXO.

HI Builds Capacity of Local Actors

Handicap International's (HI) Community Liaison (CL) teams worked in Misrata this week, responding to reports from the hotline, mostly in residential areas. Four Dangerous Areas (DA) reports were produced for MAG clearance teams. In Misrata and Zliten, HI also gave 14 Risk Education (RE) sessions in schools in conjunction with the Zliten Scouts. With the re-opening of schools, HI teams are now focusing on systematic delivery of RE to students.

HI had a stand at the Engineering College Exhibition in Misrata from 12-13 January, where they distributed materials on RE and CL teams in the area. Over 300 leaflets were distributed and HI staff gave interviews to the local media.

With the HI office in Benghazi closing next month, they are focusing on capacity building of local actors for RE and Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) awareness. There are two RE teams working on teacher training in all public schools of Ajdabiyah (30) and Brega (8). There are also three SALW RE teams working on training local NGOs and government representatives.

Meanwhile, in Tripoli, HI participated in the second national Mine/ERW Risk Education Workshop.