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.
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.
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.
“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.”