UNAMID Ordnance Disposal Office conducts clearance of Explosive Remnants of War in Umdam village, North Darfur
Upon the request of the community residing in Umdam village, North Darfur, located some 60 kilometres from the state capital, El Fasher, UNAMID’s Ordnance Disposal Office (ODO) carried out an Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) clearance in the area.
Umdam village, predominantly an agricultural community, witnessed armed hostilities in 2015 between rebel movements and government forces, which resulted in significant ERW contamination. This had prevented the local community from accessing their farms as well as the dam in the area which is the only source of water for residents and livestock.
"The presence of unexploded ordnance along school routes was a great risk. Many parents didn't want to let their children go to school as they feared for their safety," said Sheikh Ismail Saleh, a resident of Umdam.
ODO deployed its teams to conduct a general explosive hazard assessment in the area; the teams identified and safely destroyed 33 unexploded ordnances, including a 250 kg aircraft bomb. This clearance activity has freed up land for agricultural use and enhanced the local community’s confidence.
"By removing such dangerous items from our farms, UNAMID ODO has given us back our livelihoods,” averred Sheikh Saleh.
UNAMID ODO is an UNMAS project with activities implemented by UNOPS' Peace and Security Cluster. UNOPS supports ODO in implementing UNAMID’s mandate of protecting vulnerable civilians and facilitating the establishment of a stable, secure environment across Darfur through various programmes aimed at reducing the number of exploded ordnance incidents; improving weapons and ammunition stores within Darfur; as well as risk education activities aimed at teaching the population to recognize, avoid and report suspected ERW, small arms and light weapons (SALW) and unexploded ordnance (UXO)