A villager named Salim Khan living in Kabul Province, Afghanistan requested land clearance from the Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan in early 2012. He stated in his application that his land was meant for agricultural use and that they did not have any other source of income for the family’s livelihood. Therefore because of the contaminated land, Salim and his family were faced with economic problems and they were living as immigrants in the neighboring country of Pakistan.
As instructed by the Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan, dog teams donated by MLI were assigned to Salim’s land. Soon the dog teams cleared the land and handed it back to Salim and his family. The family immigrated back to Afghanistan and began construction on a deep water well, a large water reservoir pool, a house, and a garden. Salim and his family are very happy and grateful to the dog teams of MLI for clearing their land and supporting Afghanistan. In total, three families including 19 people directly benefitted from the cleared land and many more benefitted indirectly.
Every so often, Salim invites the MLI dog teams for a feast from the garden on his land. He says, “You, the dog handlers and the MLI dogs have equal share with us in use of the garden for picnics and having its crops, because you have cleared this land.” He also said that the dogs can swim in the pool because they have cleared his land. Salim has a lot of pride for the MLI dogs demining activities that are being carried out throughout Afghanistan.