Some 1,189 hazardous items (explosive remnants of war – ERW) have been removed from the village of Chimany Ferqa Kirkuk by the Mines Advisory Group (MAG).
Among the items destroyed were 78 anti-tank landmines (pictured), 307 anti-personnel landmines, 114 trip flares and 690 small arms ammunition.
MAG teams came to the village after an anti-tank mine was found by a local farmer. Once safely removed, the items were transferred for a controlled bulk demolition in a designated area.
“Because of MAG’s clearance activities, our village has enough land to farm and use for grazing,” said Mr. Asad, the farmer who came across the anti-tank mine. “I thank MAG from all of my heart.”
Mr. Shwan, a shepherd from Chimany Ferqa, added: “Thanks to MAG, I have no fear from landmines and unexploded ordnance. MAG cleared a large area for us and taught us what to do if we spot a dangerous item.
“We all know how to contact MAG and we are very happy to know that they will respond very quickly.”
The area had been used for ammunition and landmines storage by the former Iraqi military during the eight-year Iraq-Iran War.
“When our teams started working on this huge task, they started by carefully excavating the area using mechanical assets [pictured above right],” explained Muhammad Geology, MAG’s Mechanical Field Operations Manager in Chamchamal. “Then the excavated soil was manually checked by the Conventional Weapons Destruction team.
“After safely removing all these hazardous items, our excavators reinstated the excavated soil back to its original place. This meant that the landowner didn’t have to spend time preparing his farmland, because we did that for him.”
MAG continues to deliver risk education to different groups of local communities to ensure that the villagers can live and work safely in such a high contaminated region.
MAG relies on donations to clear the remnants of war, such as landmines. Please donate online now. Your generosity makes a remarkable difference to the lives of families affected by conflict.