Landmines

 

Examine the Earth before we applied our footprint;
Consider our effects recently;
What Actions should we take to prevent more damage than we have already done...
 

Long after wars end, landmines and unexploded bombs continue to pose a lethal threat to human life and claim casualties. Every 30 minutes, someone somewhere in the world is injured or killed by an encounter with this deadly debris. At least one in every four victims is a child.

Land mines are controversial because they remain dangerous after the conflict in which they were deployed, killing and injuring civilians and rendering land impassable and unusable for decades. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines has sought to prohibit their use, culminating in the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, known informally as the Ottawa Treaty. The UN estimates that with current technology, it will take nearly 1,100 years to clear all the mines in the world.

Throughout the 1990s, a coalition of numerous non-governmental organizations, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), campaigned successfully to prohibit the use of landmines.

This helped to create the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, also known as the “Ottawa Treaty.” (It also won the ICBL the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.) This treaty came into force in 1999.

Although landmine use in the past decade has been significantly reduced, problems such as clearance and rehabilitation remain. Furthermore, some key countries continue to use landmines, or support the need for them, despite the problems they often cause for civilians long after conflicts have ended.

Sudan is one of the ten most landmine-affected countries in the world. A truce in the long-running civil conflict (which is separate from and far predates the crisis in Darfur) has now allowed the United Nations to begin work in southern Sudan, to clear landmines and unexploded ordnance.....

Landmines are an immense problem throughout the continent of Africa, specifically in the way they affect public health; the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies (RCS) estimate that as many as 140 million Africans live in countries where the threat of injury or death due to landmines is high or very high. These menaces are found in villages, towns, and fields, and around roads, wells, schools, and health clinics.........

While landmines certainly hinder the status of public health throughout Africa, it is also important to note that they often are only a small part of the larger picture of fragile or even nonexistent public health systems. Knudsenā€™s experiences in northwest Somaliland illustrate this. She states, "The impact of landmines had been made worse because of the state of public health. There, there is very little in public infrastructure, very little in terms of health structure. They have no centralized way of doing vaccinations and very, very poor health services throughout the area." Thus, finding both emergency and rehabilitative healthcare for victims is extremely difficult.........