The people of Kabul Province in Afghanistan are now happy that the area they live in has been recently cleared of landmines. A few rock miners living in Baba Oeshkar Wali Village were asked how they now use the cleared land: “Our houses are located nearby this mountain and in the past we had intentions of using the mountain for rock mining but it was impossible because it was contaminated with various mines.” The rock miners explained how they used to work for daily wages in the market but now they are able to mine the mountain for rocks which provides them with a monthly income. Today 30 people work at this rock mine which benefits not only themselves but their families.
One rock miner named Safiullah spoke of his brother: “My elder brother was not aware of the mine threats in and around this mountain and unknowingly came here to do rock mining. While crashing the rocks, an enormous explosion occurred and killed him on the spot. All the villagers gathered at the explosion site including myself and found my brother’s dead body. My poor brother did not know he was mining rocks at the cost of his life.” This was not the only accident that had occurred in the area. A young boy while collecting bushes for his family’s fire stepped on a mine and lost his leg. There have also been several cattle that have died due to mine explosions.
All the people living in these areas are glad now because they can live a life free of mines. A shepherd shared his thoughts: “I don’t know how to thank you for what you did for us. With the demining of this area you have given us a life without fear and now we can raise more cattle with peace of mind and walk around with no fear of stepping on mines or any other hazardous devices.”