Watch Your Step!

With Ukraine being one of the most heavily mined territories in the world building mine safety awareness is crucial for civilians.

DanChurchAid Ukraine

The Issue

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, large areas of the country are extensively damaged by battle. Half of the country is estimated to be contaminated with mines and other explosive remnants of war.

As families return home in areas that are no longer occupied but not yet cleared by deminers, they may accidentally touch, play with, or attempt to clear up items of unexploded ordnance themselves, which results in accidents, injuries, and in fatalities.

With estimates of years or even decades needed to clear Ukraine of all explosive remnants of war (ERW), basic information about the dangers of explosive ordnance is urgently needed.

The Project

The “Building Mine Safety Awareness in Ukraine (Watch your step!)” project aims to increase the safety of communities exposed to mines and other explosive remnants of war through a wide range of trainings and information materials.

This includes trainings of Explosive Ordnance identifiers among firefighters, foresters etc. in collaboration with the State Emergency Service Ukraine, producing posters, leaflets, animated cartoons, a board game, online training for teachers, online safety adverts for children and adults – all designed to increase the safety of exposed communities.

The Change

As a direct result of the project, there will be a marked increase in knowledge of the dangers of explosive remnants of war and a decrease in injuries and fatalities. When people identify explosive ordnance, they will know who to contact to help remove it, instead of attempting to pick it up themselves.

Children will learn to look where they step and to not pick up anything when they are outside in areas not yet deemed safe by professional deminers, and to pass on the message to relevant people if they have seen anything suspicious.

This increase in knowledge about safe behaviour in areas with risks of explosive ordnance will minimise the number of accidents, injuries and deaths caused by improper handling of explosives, facilitate the safe return of internally displaced people and help promote safe reconstruction of communities damaged in battle.

The Partner(s)

East Europe Foundation (EEF) is one of the leading organisations in Ukraine’s civil society sector. EEF work within a wide range of areas, including explosive ordnance risk education, shelter, democracy, and civil society, developing small and medium enterprises and social entrepreneurship, supporting projects in energy efficiency, and much more. In their work, they rely on a broad network of partners: state and local government agencies, community leaders, NGOs, associations, universities, research institutes, and technical assistance organizations.

Our Work

DanChurchAid has been present in Ukraine since February 2022. DCA implement projects in collaboration with Ukrainian partner organisations to directly target the people most in need, utilising our partners’ local expertise in the areas of cash and legal support for IDPs, providing explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) for different population groups, providing equipment for demining, we identify local community groups to provide with flexible small grants for survivor and community-lead response, and we support shelters for war-affected and internally displaced people to prepare for the cold Ukrainian winter.

About this project

Full title: Building Mine Safety Awareness in Ukraine (Watch your step!)

Period: 22. June 2022 – 21. December 2022

Donor: Danida

Partner: East Europe Foundation (EEF)

Amount: 2,231,761 DKK

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