“One of the ways to strengthen our economy is to graze our animals, collect dairy from them and sell it to local markets, but only if that village has been cleared from mines and unexploded ordnance.”
Shir Agha, resident of Doshakh village
The primary source of income for Doshakh village is animal husbandry and the collection of firewood and bushes to sell and use in daily life. The village and surrounding areas, including grazing land, were contaminated with mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) during the Soviet occupation.
Jawid, a resident of Doshakh village, in the Khenjan district said: “Mines have created many problems for me and my family; we were not able to walk freely in the area. My mother and father used to worry about me when I would go to school, because the area was heavily contaminated with mines and UXO.”
Many mine accidents have occurred in this area, “I remember one time, a passenger got off the bus to use the toilet in a mined area in the nearby village. He stepped on a mine and lost his leg. After the mines have been cleared, we will be able to walk freely, collect bushes for winter and also graze our sheep and goats in the cleared area” said Jawid.
The impacts of mine clearance will be very significant, as people will use the cleared land for grazing and can safely take their herds to nearby pastures that were previously full of mines. This will improve the local economy and more importantly, prevent accidents.
The clearing of landmines would bring substantial benefits to over 2,000 communities like Jawid’s, which remain impacted by mines. It would enable communities to earn a living, and would move them one step closer to a safe and normal life.