Go to main content

Risk education on explosive remnants of war for civilians in Iraq

Explosive weapons Prevention
Iraq

In Iraq, Humanity and Inclusion provides risk education on explosive remnants of war, which pose a constant threat to the local population.

A risk education officer on a home visit in Kifri, Iraq.

A risk education officer on a home visit in Kifri, Iraq. | ©Oriane van den Broeck / HI

Wracked by decades of war, Iraq is one of the countries most heavily contaminated by explosive ordnance in the world. Iraqi towns and villages were particularly badly affected by the conflict with the Islamic State group between 2014 and 2017. 

An essential component of Humanity and Inclusion's operations 

More than 300 incidents involving improvised explosive devices occur every month. HI’s priority is therefore to ensure the safety of the local population.
In 2017, the organisation surveyed conflict-displaced people in the town of Hawija: 40% of adults and 42% of children shown photos of explosive devices were unable to identify them. Since then, HI has provided risk education in the governorates of Ninewa, Kirkuk and Diyala. 

Information and education to better protect local people

HI provides risk education in tandem with its mine clearance activities. When the organisation begins work in a new area, it informs communities of their progress, the potential risk from explosions, and the extent to which land remains contaminated by explosive remnants of war. HI also collects information on incidents and potentially contaminated areas. Mine clearance teams use this information and share it with the government to facilitate the planning and prioritisation of mine action in the country. 

Raising the awareness of all residents 

HI provides risk education in homes, schools and public places using learning aids and content adapted to the age and gender of its audiences. The organisation's teams help vulnerable individuals to recognise explosive devices and to know what to do when they come across them. HI also trains the most influential people in communities, such as teachers and village chiefs, to raise the awareness of people around them.

HI also broadcasts emergency awareness messages on radio and television and has set up billboards with key messages on approaches to towns and villages and in strategic locations.

RIsk education is effective

A few weeks after HI’s risk education team provided students with training at a school in Kifri district, in Diyala governorate, two children came across an unknown object. They stayed clear of the device and were careful not to touch it. They reported it to their teacher, who contacted HI’s teams. The demining team then neutralised the device - an explosive remnant of war.

In November 2018 alone, HI ran 180 risk education sessions in Kifri district, reaching 1,686 adults and children. 

Where we work

Read more

Blog: More proof that a small group of campaigners can change the world
© ISNA Agency / HI
Explosive weapons Rights

Blog: More proof that a small group of campaigners can change the world

Aleema Shivji, Executive Director of Humanity & Inclusion UK, explains how recent events bring us one step closer to protecting civilians caught in armed conflict.

Western Mosul: ghost town
© Fanny Mraz / HI
Emergency Rehabilitation

Western Mosul: ghost town

Between October 2016 and July 2017, Mosul, in Nineveh province, was the scene of heavy fighting. The intensive use of explosive weapons such as bombs and improvised mines was particularly destructive in the western half of the city. More than 500,000 people are still displaced in camps.

 

Weapons clearance drones
© HI
Explosive weapons

Weapons clearance drones

Since last January, HI and its partner Mobility Robotics have been trialing the use of drones to support weapons clearance experts in Faya-Largeau, northern Chad.