Last month I visited The Cambodian Landmine Museum. I have been there a few times before, however this was my first visit in a couple of years. It was great to see more information and resources available, making me more aware of how landmines are still so prominent in Cambodia today. According to Halo Trust, Cambodia is still one of the most landmine affected countries in the world. Approximately 40,000 people in Cambodia are amputees, the vast majority of whom are men and the the traditional heads of household. Lotus Outreach Executive Director, Erika Keaveney, says “It is estimated that a single landmine — which costs just $3 manufacture — will cost upwards of $1,000 to identify and safely remove.”
Just last week, four children in Siem Reap Province were injured after playing with unexploded ordnance (UXO). The Chinese-made bomb was hidden within a tree outside their school, which used to be a government military barrack during the civil war against the Khmer Rouge in the 1980s.
This is an issue which more people need to be aware about, as I often forget myself how UXO’s there still are around Cambodia. Fortunately, there are some brilliant NGO’s working very hard to stop these unnecessary deaths and injuries, so please consider donating to one of them today, International Day for Mine Awareness & Assistance in Mine Action.