Go to main content

Weapons: a daily threat to people’s lives

Explosive weapons
Libya

The fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and Libya’s descent into chaos has led to a proliferation of arms and an escalation in fighting between militia groups. In response, Handicap International is providing the population with risk education on firearms, mines and explosive remnants of war. Over the last four years, the organisation has educated 120,000 people at greatest risk from these weapons, most of them children.

A risk education session in a school, Handicap International Libya

A risk education session in a school, Handicap International Libya | © J-J. Bernard / Handicap International

Ten risk educators are touring cities in western Libya, such as Tripoli and Gharyan, and surrounding areas, to explain the risk from firearms and explosive remnants of war to the local population, and what to do when they come across them.

Although they visit businesses and shops, they focus mainly on schools, because children, being naturally curious, are most likely to put themselves at risk. The educators teach them about the dangers and how to recognise these weapons. They warn children never to touch them and to alert an adult whenever they see one.

Handicap International has also trained more than 1,000 people, teachers, health professionals and journalists to inform and raise the awareness of the people they come into contact with.

Since 2011, the organisation has handed out 280,000 leaflets and put up 36,000 posters in Libya. It has also handed out 51,500 children’s notebooks, mostly during awareness-raising sessions in schools.

In February 2016, Handicap International began conducting community surveys to identify areas contaminated by explosive remnants of war and mines. The teams will mark these areas to alert people to the danger and to prevent access to them.

Where we work

Read more

Fatehia walks again thanks to HI’s teams
© ISNA Agency / HI
Emergency Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Fatehia walks again thanks to HI’s teams

Eight-year-old Fatehia was seriously injured in a bombing raid on her village in northern Yemen. She now receives medical and psychological support from HI.

Ameen: "Now I can walk, I want to go back to university"
© HI
Emergency Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Ameen: "Now I can walk, I want to go back to university"

Ameen, 19, was the victim of an explosion in Hodeidah, Yemen. He was injured in his right leg, just above the knee. Humanity & Inclusion supplied him with a prosthesis and helped him walk again.

Heba learns to walk with a prosthesis
© HI
Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Heba learns to walk with a prosthesis

Heba is a 13-year-old girl. Her home in Sa'dah, Yemen, was struck by an airstrike last year. She suffered a serious leg wound and her leg had to be amputated.