Monday, 28 November 2011

Landmines, UXO's and incompetent people!!!


Hello interweb, Well it’s nearly December and another year will soon have past at an alarming rate. My short term memory is really giving me a hard time at the moment, honestly I am struggling to remember what I walked into a room for at the minute sometimes.
I am still waiting on information relating to travel to Iraq and as things begin to unravel over there it is looking increasingly difficult to get the authorisation required.
The amount of landmines and unexploded ordnance in the Kurdistan region alone makes for some scary reading to be honest.
Contaminated sites cover an estimated 1,730 square kilometres and  affect around 1.6 million people in over 1,600 communities. Landmine contamination is particularly concentrated in Iraqi Kurdistan, major oil infrastructure and areas bordering with Iran, while UXOs plague other areas in the southern and central governorates. There may be many more mined areas that data gathering efforts have not yet covered.
Depleted uranium also presents a radioactive hazard which can cause severe health complications. The extent and effect of depleted uranium has not been comprehensively assessed.

 Children are often not educated about the dangers associated with approaching or disturbing landmines  and  UXOs. 24% of victims in the Kurdistan Region were under 14 years old.  Many children lose their limbs, sight, or hearing resulting in lifelong disability. Child victims are often perceived as a burden to their families and are discriminated against by society, facing limited or no future prospects for education.

Not a million miles away are the people of Libya who are returning to their homes after months of fighting. The story of Nurden  a 12 year old who returned home to find a whole new world of toys to play with. Outside his uncles house he found a pick up truck with a machine gun bolted to the back of it. In the back he found a pile of un used 14mm anti aircraft bullets. Nurden along with his friend decided to get the gunpowder out of the shell but was unable to open the casing. The loud explosion that rang around the neighbourhood as he struck it against a rock brought adults running from nearby homes. A section of his stomach and intestines had been blown away as the bullet exploded. A month later Nurden can walk slowly and is scarred for life but is slowly recovering. The stream of casualties like this is unending and a constant flow of similar injuries continues to flow. 

One of the problems in Libya is that the farms etc and outlying areas is where most of the fighting took place. These areas are quite open and as such it is to these areas that the children go to play. These areas are littered with shells, rockets and mines. A family returning to their home in Takut village found it riddled with bullets but still standing and so moved back in. Naema went for a lie down and after a short while was woken by the sound of an enormous explosion. She ran outside to see the body of her motionless 11 year old son, his arm blown off, his eye and groin also hit. They had not seen any ordnance so that simply leaves the fact that a land mine had been planted in their garden by retreating Gaddafi troops. Sadly the young boy died the following day after massive bleeding from his femoral artery.

Well interweb, whilst none of that makes very happy reading it does make one a lot more thankful for ones own situation and I would like to leave you with this thought for today,
“There will be a time when loud-mouthed, incompetent people seem to be getting the best of you.
 When that happens, you only have to be patient and wait for them to self destruct. It never fails.”
Peace out y'all, THE BAGSTAXXX

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