In South Sudan DanChurchAid (DCA) implements Humanitarian Relief, Development and Mine Action initiatives in coordination to assist the local populations most efficiently. The clearance in Kapoeta illustrates how different humanitarian initiatives can be coordinated thereby creating synergies benefitting the impacted populations.
Based on an assessment of needs of the local populations living in areas contaminated by land mines and unexploded ammunitions which blocks valuable agricultural land, roads and water sources Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) was in August 2012 introduced as part of DCA’s response in South Sudan. Since then HMA teams have been deployed to states and communities where Humanitarian Relief and Development efforts are already taking place. On the 29th of April 2013, the DCA HMA Team was contacted by the local Relief organization Kapoeta Development Initiative (KDI), working in Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria state of South Sudan. The KDI have been working with the DCA Regional Office on training and capacity building. KDI is implementing a farming training project for the local farmers under the title ‘Improving Lively Hoods and Peace Building’. KDIs work was hindered by scattered Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) in the farm areas and many ERWs were discovered during the cultivation process. It is fortunate that no accidents have happened. Part of the cultivation process involves setting fire to the dry vegetation. Had the ERWs been in the fire lane, they easily could have detonated putting the farmers at risk and jeopardizing the project. Luckily that did not happen, and the threat was removed by the HMA team thereby securing the area for further agricultural use. To mitigate the risk of unexploded ammunition to the local community a Risk Education training session was performed.
This will enable the locals to better understand the risks associated with ERWs and how to navigate in a contaminated environment. In the future KDI can continue the ‘Improving Lively Hoods and Peace Building’ project without the threat of unexploded grenades on the farming land.