Abdul Ahad, who lives in Sar Dewal Village in Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan, knows a lot about the impact of landmines on a community as he is a survivor of a mine accident. He was walking with his nephew to their home when the mine exploded. Abdul lost his left leg and his nephew lost his life. “In that moment, there was no one to help me and save my nephew’s life,” Abdul said. There are only a few houses in the village and no vehicles, so once someone discovered Abdul and his nephew, they were taken to the hospital by donkey. The Marshall Legacy Institute was able to help Abdul by providing him with a prosthetic leg, enabling him to continue running his shop in the village.
Since his accident, efforts have begun to clear this village and the surrounding areas of mines by using manual de-miners, machinery, and mine detection dogs. The plan is to return the land to agriculture, grazing, and residential uses. Abdul is happy to hear that his home land will be mine safe soon: “Every day we hear the explosions of mines and UXOs collected by demining operations. We are very happy to have the satisfaction that the whole mine/UXO contaminated areas would be cleared soon and we will start using the area again which will put a positive impact on the normal life in society.”
The Marshall Legacy Institute has been working in Afghanistan since 2008 and has provided 28 Mine Detection Dogs to four indigenous demining organizations that are working to clear the country of landmines.