Following a series of devasting earthquakes in Herat Province, Afghanistan, it is crucial to prioritize mine safety due to the presence of explosive ordnance in the affected areas. This guide provides essential information and practical advice to help protect yourself and your loved ones from the threats of explosive hazards.
By following these guidelines, you can navigate the recovery phase with caution and minimize the risk of accidents and injuries caused by unexploded ordnance.
1. Understanding the Risks and Taking Precautions
1.1 Awareness of Conflict History
Herat Province has experienced conflicts, including recent hostilities until August 2021. It's essential to be aware of this history and understand that explosive ordnance may be present in the affected areas.
1.2 Extent of Contamination
Over 40 sq. km. of land in Herat Province is known to be contaminated by explosive ordnance. Additionally, approximately nine sq. km. of land in the earthquake-affected districts have been affected. Stay informed about the areas with potential contamination to avoid accidental encounters.
1.3 Prevention Measures
- Stay away from areas known to be contaminated with explosive hazards. Do not enter or allow friends and family to enter these areas, as it puts lives at risk.
- Never touch or handle unknown or suspicious items. If you didn't put it there, don't pick it up. Treat all unfamiliar objects as potentially dangerous.
2. Ensuring Personal Safety
2.1 Expert Deminers
Expert deminers are trained professionals responsible for dealing with dangerous and suspicious items. Avoid any contact with them and allow them to carry out their work safely and effectively. Respect their expertise and instructions.
2.2 Reporting Suspected Items
If you encounter any suspected dangerous item, promptly leave the area and report it to an elder or the demining authorities. Call the demining authorities at 0708 60 60 60 to provide them with detailed information about the location and nature of the item.
2.3 Staying Informed
Stay updated on mine safety information provided by local authorities and demining organizations. Regularly check for updates on safe areas and any changes in the status of contaminated zones.
3. Practical Advice for Mine Safety
3.1 Education and Communication
- Educate yourself, your family, and your community about the risks associated with explosive ordnance. Raise awareness about the importance of mine safety precautions.
- Communicate with neighbors, friends, and family members about the presence of explosive hazards and the need to stay vigilant.
3.2 Safe Movement and Activities
- Stick to well-known and cleared paths and avoid venturing into unfamiliar or potentially contaminated areas.
- When engaging in outdoor activities, such as farming or construction, be cautious and consult local authorities or demining organizations for guidance.
3.3 Children and Mine Safety
- Teach children about the dangers of explosive ordnance and the importance of not touching or approaching suspicious objects.
- Supervise children closely and ensure they understand and follow mine safety guidelines.
By prioritizing mine safety and following the practical advice outlined in this comprehensive guide, individuals and families affected by the earthquake in Herat Province can protect themselves from the threats of explosive ordnance.
Stay informed, report any suspected items, and educate others about mine safety. Together, you can navigate the recovery phase with caution and create a safer environment for everyone in the community.
For those Afghans seeking specific information, "Beporsed" is here to help. You can reach our information center through WhatsApp (+93729807235), Facebook Messenger, or our website's Messenger to ask our online information desk officer for assistance.
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