Unexploded Ordnance Poses Threat to Bangui Residents: Sensitization Campaign

By International Office of Migration (IOM)
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GENEVA, Switzerland, November 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) has led to widespread availability of grenades and other explosives in the capital, Bangui. Unexploded ordnance (UXO) has also been found throughout the city, often by citizens supporting clean-ups in their neighbourhoods.

IOM, through its European Union (EU)-funded “Community Stabilization and Early Recovery for At-Risk Communities in Bangui” project, employs residents to clean up their communities through cash-for-work schemes in Bangui.

In order to keep them safe from UXOs, IOM and its partners have now developed an information flyer on how to recognize UXOs and what to do if they're found. The flyer is shared with project participants in information sessions conducted in French and the local language, Sango.

Over 200 people in the 5th district have now attended the training and shared the flyer with their families and neighbours. Fatima, 47, said: “I know about grenades of course, everyone knows. But that the safe distance is 50-100 metres, I didn't know. I need to show my children how far 50 metres is.”

IOM will continue to offer the UXO information sessions in Bangui in the coming months.

IOM's cash-for-work rotations, which allow residents to generate income from cleaning up their neighbourhoods, now also are being used for on-the-job training programmes on infrastructure rehabilitation projects selected by the community.

These include the ongoing rehabilitation of public water points in Bangui's 3rd district and the reconstruction of a special needs school in the 5th district. These projects were selected through community consultations led by local authorities.

The EU-funded programme will run until August 2015. So far it has helped provide cash for work to over 7,800 beneficiaries.

To see the UXO brochure please go to:

http://www.iom.int/files/live/sites/iom/files/pbn/docs/uxo.pdf or