Go to main content

Demining in Lebanon: Handicap International restores land to villagers

Explosive weapons
Lebanon

An official ceremony held to mark the return to local people of land cleared of mines and explosive remnants of war by Handicap International paid tribute to the organisation’s weapons clearance operations.

Handicap International deminers in North Lebanon

Handicap International deminers in North Lebanon | © G. Dubourthoumieu / Handicap International

A total of 46,500 square metres of land cleared of weapons by Handicap International were returned to the inhabitants of the village of Beir Billa, in northern Lebanon, at a special ceremony organised jointly by the organisation and the Lebanon Mine Action Center on August 31. The ceremony was held in the presence of David Hale, the ambassador of the United States, one of the main funding bodies of weapons clearance projects in Lebanon.

“These areas were extremely dangerous; no one dared go near them for decades,” explains Chris Chevanier, Handicap International’s head of mission in Lebanon. “They’re safe now and people can farm them again and organise development projects once more.”

The surface area of the land cleared in Beir Billa is the equivalent of six football pitches! It took four teams of weapons clearance experts from Handicap International eighteen months to complete the task. The mines and explosive remnants of war made safe had been left over from the civil war (1975-2000).

Handicap International began its clearance actions in Lebanon in 2006, following the incursion by Israel into the south of the country, to clear land contaminated by cluster munitions. Since 2010, the organisation has been working in the North Lebanon province, clearing land contaminated by anti-personnel mines laid during the civil war.

COUNTRIES

Where we work

Read more

Smiles behind the masks: The impact of your support in 2020
© Quinn Neely/HI
Emergency Explosive weapons Health Inclusion Prevention Rehabilitation Rights

Smiles behind the masks: The impact of your support in 2020

2020 has been more challenging than anyone could have predicted. But as the year draws to a close, let's take a moment to appreciate the incredible, life-changing work that our dedicated supporters have helped us to deliver.

What happens after the dust has settled? HI’s approach to emergencies and long term support
© Tom Nicholson/HI
Emergency

What happens after the dust has settled? HI’s approach to emergencies and long term support

Federico Dessi, Humanity & Inclusion's Regional Director for the Middle East, answers questions about the different challenges that are faced when moving from emergency to long-term support. Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, HI has been supporting Syrian refugees in the region as the crisis heads towards a decade of displacement and destruction.

Cluster munitions: weapons made to massacre
© D. Kremer / HI
Explosive weapons

Cluster munitions: weapons made to massacre

Cluster munitions have been recently used in the Azerbaijan-Armenia war. Humanity & Inclusion's Armed Violence Reduction Specialist, Gary Toombs, explains why this weapon is banned.

FOLLOW US