18th National Day of Mine Awareness Anniversary for 2017
CMAA organized the 18th National Mine Awareness Day, held this year on February 24 in Banteay Meanchey province. The event was attended by 2,000 participants from government institutions, development partners, embassy, non-government organizations, demining operators, local authorities, monks, teachers and students.
Cambodia’s National Mine Awareness Day has been held on February 24 each year since 1999. The event is held in different mine-affected provinces in order to raise local people’s awareness of the risks from landmines and explosive remnants of war – and how to avoid them.
CMAA’s First Vice President, Senior Minister Serie Kosal, said that mines and ERWs are legacies from three decades of civil war. “They have threatened Cambodian people’s lives and are a major obstacle to reconstruction and socio-economic development in the country. Clearance operations are not enough to protect our people from danger; mine risk education should be provided to help them avoid accidents.”
According to CMAA’s baseline survey data, Cambodia will need 407 million USD in order to release the remaining 1,946 km² of contaminated land by 2025.
On behalf of donor representatives, Mr. Nick Beresford, UNDP Country Director, said that UNDP and development partners have been instrumental in the effort to tackle the landmine/UXO problem in Cambodia. “We will continue our support to enable the Royal Government of Cambodia to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 18 on mine action, and to fulfil its obligation under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Convention: to remove all landmines and explosive remnants of war from known contaminated areas.”
“I would like to congratulate the Royal Government of Cambodia, represented by the Cambodia Mine Action Authority, for its ownership and leadership of the mine action sector and encourage you to build on it to further, to strengthen the national ownership and leadership in the years to come”, Mr Beresford added.
A group of students from the local secondary school educated the diverse audience about mine/ERW risks in an entertaining role play.
CMAA collaborated with all operators in Cambodia to select 10 mine risk awareness messages for display around Banteay Meanchey province. We also distributed 2,000 t-shirts, 560 note books, and 50 footballs labelled with mine risk messages to event participants.
CMAA coordinate all landmine/ERW risk education activities and to strengthen the provision of mine educational messages to the right target groups. Mine Risk Education (MRE) is provided by a wide array of operators, including the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Commissariat-General of the National Police, Cambodian Red Cross (CRC), the National Center for Peacekeeping Forces and ERW Clearance (NPMEC), Cambodia Mine Action Center (CMAC) and Cambodia Mine/ERW Victim Information System (CMVIS). Non-government organizations also conduct MRE sessions such as the HALO Trust, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Japan Mine Action Services (JMAS), Cambodian Self Help Demining (CSHD) and Spirit of Soccer.