It is the April 4th today. The General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) announced on the 8th of the December 2005, that this date will be observed as the International Mine Awareness Day. It was first observed on the April 4th in 2006. Marking this day is a reminder for the global community that the mines, ammunition and unexploded ordnance still continue to hurt and kill thousands of people around the world . These remnants of war, inherited from the period of conflict, are polluting more than 80 countries and regions every year, killing and hurting tens of thousands of people, including children. The fields, forests, roads and paths are contaminated, preventing people from fulfilling the essential needs since they are deprived of the access to the individual farms.
The International Mine Awareness Day aims to raise awareness about landmines, as well as to mark the progress that has been achieved so far in its efforts to eradicate them. The term “mine action” includes a wide range of activities, not just demining, but victim assistance too, and the education of the population on how to remain safe in an environment contaminated with mines, through the mine awareness lessons.
Current size of the mine suspected areas in BH is 1145 km2 or 2.3% of the total BH area. The general assessment of the impact of mines/cluster munitions/explosive remnants of war (ERW) in 129 towns/municipalities in BiH has identified 1,398 communities affected by mines/cluster munitions/ERW. Out of the total number of the affected communities 1,369 communities are contaminated by mines, while 60 communities are contaminated by cluster munitions (out of which 31 communities have combined contamination by landmines and cluster munitions). Micro-locations contaminated by mines/cluster munitions/ERW directly affect the safety of 545,603 inhabitants or 15% of the total population of BH. Out of these, the micro-locations contaminated by mines affect the safety of 517,238 inhabitants, while the micro-locations contaminated by cluster munitions affect the safety of 54,314 inhabitants (out of which 25,949 inhabitants are affected by both mines and cluster munitions). Through the operations of the systematic survey 9,018 suspected micro locations have been defined, in which, according to estimation, remained around 82,000 mines/ERW. Current size of the suspected hazardous areas with the cluster munitions in BH is 7.3 km2, out of which 4.3 km2 is a combined suspected dangerous area with mines and cluster munitions. Through a systematic survey operations 203 suspected micro-locations with cluster munitions have been defined, which according to estimation have 2,000 remaining pieces of cluster submunitions / ERW.
The database (BHMAC) has currently 19,205 registered minefield records, which represents about 60% of the total number.
The initiative to observe the International Mine Awareness Day requires the constant efforts of the countries, with the help of the UN and other relevant organisations, in assisting the building and development of the national capacities for mine action in the countries where mines and unexploded ordnance pose a serious threat to the safety, health and life of the population, or are a barrier to social and economic development at the state and local level.