New mine signs provided to Bosnia & Herzegovina Mine Action Centre
Vital markers for a safer living environment
SARAJEVO, 4 April 2007 – This year in Bosnia & Herzegovina, an additional 133 square kilometers of suspected mine areas will be marked with 10,400 mine signs thanks to funding support from the Government of Canada. UNICEF will provide the new contribution, including the mine signs and required office equipment to the BH Mine Action Centre (BHMAC). This support will allow BHMAC regional offices to continue their community risk assessment and planning, urgent marking and quality assurance activities.
“BH MAC expresses its gratitude to UNICEF and Canada for everything that has been done in the area of Mine Action so far, especially for Mine Risk Education and marking of suspicious territories. Having in mind that the mine threat will be present in BiH for a long time, a continuous Mine Risk Education and minefield marking is necessary, to avoid new victims of mines and unexploded ordnances. The solution to this complex problem is possible only through an effective and efficient involvement of local government at all levels, with the indispensable help from the International Community, and with a high degree of mine risk awareness among all inhabitants of mine-affected communities to avoid accidents which are unfortunately a part of our everyday life.” – said Mr. Dušran Gavran, BH MAC Director.
H.E. David Hutchings, the Ambassador of Canada and UNICEF Representative June Kunugi symbolically handed over the mine signs to Mr. Gavran, as part of the observance of Mine Action Day 2007.
The marking of mine-contaminated areas is an essential component of risk reduction at the community level, as highlighted by research and feedback from field visits. Urgent marking is a constant reminder of the lurking danger of landmines and the most efficient tool against complacency. An estimated one million landmines and explosive remnants of war are among the many threats and difficulties that the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including children, face every day, and in their quest to lead a normal and productive life, they often either forget or ignore the threat posed by an area suspected of being mined if a sign is not there to remind them of the danger.
Nela Kacmarcik, Communication Officer, Bosnia and Herzegovina