As a result of decades of armed conflict, Myanmar is experiencing some of the highest mine accident rates in the world, even though verifiable data is difficult to gather. Seven out of Myanmar’s 14 States are contaminated with landmines, and mostly laid along border areas by Government and ethnic armed groups, due to both previous and ongoing conflicts.
With ceasefire negotiations being under way, some displaced people are considering return but land mine contamination continues to pose a serious risk.
From February 2013 to June 2014, UNICEF and its partner the DanChurchAid (DCA) conducted a KAP Survey on Mine Risks under the leadership of the Myanmar Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement. The survey used faith-based and community-based organisations to collect data from 41 villages and over 390 households, including 390 interviews with children.
The results can help get an important overview of the landmine problem in the regions and states in question.
Maw Pray Myar was working as a volunteer with the Kay Htoo Boe Social Development Association in Kayah State in Myanmar when DanChurchAid and UNICEF approached the community-based organization in February 2013. She was selected as one of the KAP survey team leaders, and excelled by showing tremendous leadership skills and expertise.
Last January, Maw Pray Myar presented the findings of the KAP survey in front of 10 Government ministries’ representatives in a high-level meeting held in in Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Daw.
The MRE KAP survey is ‘a kind of assessment through which we can learn about the beliefs on landmines and explosive devices’, Maw Pray Myar explains.
’It is good for the local population and I strongly believe that through this work accidents can be reduced and people can be safer.’
Apart from gaining leadership skills and knowledge on Mine Risk Education, Maw Pray Myar also made new friends from other parts of Myanmar:
‘At first, I did not know anyone in the MRE KAP team, even people from my own state of origin, now the situation has changed and we are all very good friends’.