At DSGU, our focus is on helping civilians in Ukraine return to their homes safely and preventing further casualties from leftover ammunition in the region. We first began hearing about the dangers facing civilians returning to their homes in and around Kiev, where large amounts of intentionally and unintentionally left behind ammunition pose a particular threat to curious children.
Currently, we are responsible for clearing an area of 2.3 million sq. km south of Chernihiv. So far, we have found several former Russian positions with the associated remnants and signs of cluster bombs, which slow down the clearing process due to increased risk. We have also found sniper positions and generally left behind ammunition. We were able to release just shy of 100,000sqm back to the local population just before the winter set in.
Leftover mines and ammunition have numerous implications for the local population. Firstly, it is a major security risk as mines and ammunition can be very dangerous if not handled correctly. Secondly, it is a significant obstacle to agriculture, as many mines and ammunition have been left in agricultural land and forest areas north of Chernihiv, making it impossible to cultivate the land and leading to loss of income and food shortages. Finally, the leftover mines and ammunition also have psychological effects on the local population, as many people experience fear and stress at the thought of coming into contact with these leftover items, which can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.
This is we keep pursuing funding to continue this important endeavour.
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