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 Report - Mine/UXO Awareness Education Needs Assessment has been completed (ANAMA)

 Report date: 30.09.2000

As a result of Garabakh war thousands of industrial and agricultural enterprises, socio-cultural offices, hundreds of settlements, schools, preschool and medical enterprises were destroyed in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

The Government of Azerbaijan reports that the total landmass of the republic is 86,600 square kilometers, 12,277 square kilometers of which still remain occupied, and about a million of Azeri citizens keep living as refugees and displaced.

Since the commencement of the war (1988-2000) up today, it is reported that thousands of Azeries have been killed, injured and disabled. From the Republic and reports from hospitals and clinics it has been revealed that great majority of these people are from mines and UXO.

331 square kilometers of liberated land of Fizuli, Aghdam and Ter-ter districts remain mines and UXOs contaminated.

To implement the special Program prepared by the initiatives and help of UNDP and Azerbaijan Government to clear the liberated lands of mines and UXOs, to arrange repatriation of the population and safe living from mines and UXO threats a National Agency for Mine Actions was established by the Presidental Decree No 854 dated July 18, 1998.

The National Strategic Plan, prepared by Agency, aims at demining and clearance of lands from mines and UXOs, victim support (medical, psychosocial, working skills training and employment), preparation of mine/UXO contaminated area and victim support Data Base, and implementing of a special programme among the population on mine awareness. When the procurement issues came to end with the administrative support of NGO "Relief Azerbaijan", and by the help of International instructors of England from "Mines Advisory Group" the first Azerbaijan humanitarian deminers team commenced its practical steps on the areas of Shukurbeyli and Ashagi Kurdmahmudlu settlements in Fizuli district.

As it is mentioned above, Mine Awareness is one of the activities, which is intended in National Mine Action Plan.

The people usually face a lot of incidents in their lives while at different professional activities. Sometimes the existence of the danger seems as a surprise to the people outside. But it should be kept in mind that the correct behavior saves life.

That is why mine awareness education is considered for different age groups of the population, and people of different professions, who live in contaminated areas, to protect their lives through this.

So, mine awareness occupies a significant place in mine action and is considered an urgent activity.

With the beginning of reconstruction and rehabilitation work in the liberated areas in 1996 the ICRC commenced, together with its other programmes, the Mine Awareness Program in borderline and front close districts, and IDP camps and settlements to raise awareness of the population to mine/UXO danger and successfully continued the Program, in close co-operation with the Republic Ministry of Education, until the beginning of 2000. The experience gained in ICRC is used by ANAMA at present.

ANAMA, which is responsible for organising, coordinating and ongoing process of mine issues, with the regard to plan and implement MAP again, the needs assessment was conducted and the results was prepared as a report to introduce the interested parties. The experience of the ICRC and recommendations of the UNICEF, which is coordinating mine awareness issues according to the UN standards, are reflected in the very document.

Various fields of mine action are conducted by the different agencies of the United Nations. So, in this regard with the financial support of the USA State Department for implementation of Mine Awareness in Azerbaijan, UNICEF has commenced to implement a special Program. The significance of the Program, how it will reach the population, which age groups, and people of different professions it will target has been identified in ANAMA according to the results of the assessment.

The number of mine/UXO injured, disabled, and killed people, their age groups, and the place of incidents were identified by the information, which received from various ministries, organisations, district and city hospitals, and at the same time from some humanitarian NGOs (ICRC) working in our Republic.

In the result of assessment and interviewing it was clarified that the great majority of the mine/UXO victims (children and adults) are in need of medical, financial and moral support, and rehabilitation of their health and psychic conditions, and employment support. This shows that the NGOs in our country can make thoughtful and exact plans for the solution of these problems, so they will gain new means to attract the donors and direct their financial supports to these spheres of activity.

For more information contact:

Musa Jalalov – Mine Awareness Officer
Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Actions (ANAMA), Information Department
Address: 69, Fizuli Str., Baku 370014, Azerbaijan
Telephone: (+994 12) 95-79-34; 97-38-51
Fax: (+994 12) 97-44-27

October 2000

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