There are 300,000 people living with the constant threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war in Chad, the legacy of four decades of successive wars and a major obstacle to the development of the country. Furthermore, the country’s unstable borders only serve to worsen an already complex humanitarian situation: it is estimated that over two million people need emergency assistance. Handicap International has been working in Chad since October 2014, supporting mine clearance operations and providing assistance to victims in the country. Since 2015, the organisation has helped make displaced populations in the Lake Chad region aware of the risks from unexploded devices and promotes the inclusion of disabled children in education.
© Denis Ricca / Handicap International
Handicap International works in Chad as part of an EU development aid programme.
The organisation is helping to clear land contaminated by landmines and explosive remnants of war, bringing it back into use for the villages directly affected by these threats. It trains members of the National Demining High Commission and is responsible for updating its procedures.
The organisation also trains staff at Chad’s physical rehabilitation centres and is assisting the sector by developing a disability identification strategy. It is providing support for the reopening of the N’Djamena Rehabilitation Centre and is helping victims’ and disabled people’s organisations to campaign for their rights, since these groups are heavily marginalised in Chad.
Handicap International works to improve access to education for children with disabilities in the Lake Chad region, where many people have fled the violence caused by Boko Haram in neighbouring Nigeria. The organisation also provides risk education on unexploded devices to reduce the number of accidents.
Essentially a rural country, Chad ranks among the 10 poorest countries in terms of human development. However, in recent years, the country has experienced high growth due to its oil industry.
The security situation in the region remains a cause for concern: crises in Sudan, the Central African Republic, Libya, along with the actions of the terrorist organisation Boko Haram are exacerbating an already complex humanitarian situation. The country already hosts some 500,000 people who have fled neighbouring crises and are living in extremely vulnerable situations.
Chad has a population of around 14 million people, with 47% living beneath the poverty threshold, according to the World Bank.