For over a decade, TDI has conducted clearance activities throughout South Sudan. In early 2020, TDI began clearing contaminated minefields in Mabior-Anguei, north of the country. Numerous incidents relating to unexploded ordnance (UXO) had taken place here, claiming livestock and wounding community members.
After more than two decades of civil war in South Sudan, many areas of the country have been left littered with unexploded ordnance. Roads connecting communities are impossible to travel, resulting in the restricted movement of humanitarian aid in many parts of the country and limited economic development at community level. Vehicles are not able to reach many of the remote areas of South Sudan which has led to people being forced to leave their homes for safety, as well as preventing the use of fertile land for agriculture.
Unpredictable road conditions for much of the year made it a challenge to reach Mabior-Anguei. Once reaching the area, TDI began operations with non-technical and technical survey to assess the extent of contamination. The communities responded positively by informing TDI team members about all of the possible items of UXO that they had encountered. Following this, the teams conducted manual mine clearance to remove and destroy the identified UXO and landmines in the area. The teams cleared an estimated 12,000m2 of suspected minefields.
Over five thousand people in many of the villages and schools were provided with explosive ordnance risk education (EORE). The TDI Community Liaison Officers helped create awareness with the communities in order to recognise possible items of UXO, the dangers associated with these devices and precautionary actions to take.
Following the completion of clearance activities, the released land was handed back to the community, the village chief and the headmaster of Mabior-Anguei Primary School. The land can now be used to harvest and grow crops for their livelihood. The removal of the explosive hazards and the provision of EORE has promoted freedom of movement in Mabior-Anguei, building confidence in the villages and surrounding areas.