Officials from the Mine Detection Center (MDC) on Sunday said each month up to 200 people in the country fall victim to IEDs – both newly planted devices and unexploded mines going back to the civil war.
MDC officials were speaking at an event in Kabul that was held to mark the International Day of Peace.
Mohammad Shahab Hakimi, head of MDC, said most of the victims are unaware of where these explosives are and also do not know what to do when they step on a mine.
“Every months between 180 and 200 people (are killed and wounded), it means 2,000 people a year become victims of mines. The fatalities have increased,” said Hakimi.
In the meantime, State Minister for Natural Disaster Management Najib Aqa Fahim said in the past 30 years 19 million unexploded mines and IED have been detected and defused around the country.
“Over 2,500 square kilometers of land in Afghanistan has been cleared of mines and around 19 million mines and explosive devices have been detected and defused,” said Fahim.
Fahim also said there is still 2,000 square kilometers of land in the country that needs to be cleared of mines and explosives devices.
Nafisa, a woman in Kabul who works with the MDC said she works in the field to detect, defuse and to provide awareness training to people about mines. She said this is in the hope of saving lives and securing the environment.
Nafisa said she has worked for MDC for two years. “I get happy when a man, woman or child becomes aware of mines - which is the enemy of all of us,” said Nafisa.
Mohamamd Ali, another MDC employee said he has been working in the demining sector for 21 years – even during the civil war – when he worked in remote areas, in the mountains and deserts -detecting and defusing mines.