By Emeka Nwadike
In support of the disabled community, specially the victims of explosive remnants of war (ERW) accidents, UNAMID’s Ordnance Disposal Office (ODO) constructed and equipped five vocational centers across all Darfur states.
The project, which began in October 2015, is aimed at developing the capacities of persons with disabilities and providing them with income-generating activities.
To mark the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, UNAMID ODO, in collaboration with the Community Stabilization Section is facilitating the training of 23 beneficiaries in welding, carpentry and tailoring.
“Acquiring skills on fabricating and assembling of mobility facilities for the disabled has boosted my morale and increased my self-esteem,” says Ahmed Ali El-Bushiri, a member of the Disabled Union in El Geneina, West Darfur.
The conflict in Darfur has left a legacy of ERW which have caused the death of many and injuries to several. Since 2005, more than 220 ERW-related accidents have resulted in death or severe injury of some 450 civilians, including women and children. Furthermore, the presence of ERW pose a significant threat to civilians and UNAMID peacekeepers; it also impedes the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Since 2007, UNAMID ODO has conducted general explosives hazard assessment in 2,490 villages covering 3,871 square kilometers in terms of area and assessed 24,980 kilometers of pedestrian and vehicular routes. In conducting these activities, a total of 16, 976 unexploded ordnance have been located and destroyed. 2,2762,866 small arms and ammunition have also been destroyed while 1,095,569 civilians have received risk education.
The explosive remnants of war clearance and explosive ordnance disposal activities have freed up land for agricultural use and facilitated the safe movements of the local population, including voluntary returns for internally displaced persons.