The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in collaboration with partners are educating school children in the UN Protection of Civilian (PoC) site on the risks of landmines and other Explosive Remnants of War (ERWs).
The children were advised to embrace their new knowledge in order to save the lives of themselves, their classmates and family members who may not be aware of the dangers posed by mines and other ERWs scattered around areas they live in or pass through.
More than 80 school children in the Bentiu PoC site took part in the awareness raising sessions.
Christian Lara, team leader of the UNMISS Bentiu Field Office’s Relief, Reintegration and Protection (RRP) section, emphasized that the risk of getting hurt or killed by landmines or other unexploded objects in the area is real, as the region has been a hotspot for many outbursts of armed conflict.
“Last week, for instance, we had one case with children playing with ammunitions and three of them got injured”, Mr. Lara told his attentive audience.
Mr. Lara says that similar short mine risk education sessions are to be conducted for more school children as well as for community representatives in the PoC site prior to their voluntary return to their homes.
People staying in the Bentiu PoC site frequently go to surrounding villages in search of food supplements, charcoal and firewood. Others make their way to their respective villages to engage in livelihood activities when the security situation permits such endeavours, thus putting themselves at risk of accidentally stepping on landmines or other unexploded objects.
RRP is partnering with United Nations Mine Action (UNMAS) and the Danish Demining Group in implementing the mine risk education.