FSD logo et baseline

Capacity building: our partner in Iraq is now accredited to clear improvised mines

Since January 2021, our experts in Iraq have been training, advising and mentoring a local NGO, Shareteah Humanitarian Organization (SHO). The ultimate goal of this project is to enable Iraqis to undertake the demining of the country independently. This project is being carried out with the support of the United Nations. After months of practical […]

by | 02 Jun 2022 | iraq, Mine action

Since January 2021, our experts in Iraq have been training, advising and mentoring a local NGO, Shareteah Humanitarian Organization (SHO). The ultimate goal of this project is to enable Iraqis to undertake the demining of the country independently. This project is being carried out with the support of the United Nations.

An FSD technical expert guides a trainee deminer during an exercise to excavate an improvised mine (Erbil, May 2021)
An FSD technical expert guides a trainee deminer during an exercise to excavate an improvised mine (Erbil, May 2021)

After months of practical training, SHO staff now have the necessary skills to carry out all stages of the demining process, from preliminary surveys to locating and clearing explosive devices. FSD has also helped SHO to strengthen its administrative, financial and managerial skills, which are essential for effective demining operations.

This process concluded with the accreditation of the organisation by the Iraqi authorities last November, and the achievement of SHO’s first fully autonomous demining tasks.

A deminer in training rehearses the procedure in potentially contaminated buildings (Makhmur, September 2021)
A deminer in training rehearses the procedure in potentially contaminated buildings (Makhmur, September 2021)

One of SHO’s first achievements was the clearance of mines around a football field in the village of Sultan Abdullah. Located about 50 km south-east of Mosul, the village was in the hands of the Islamic State from June 2014 to October 2016. Many villagers were killed, others fled, houses were destroyed and booby-trapped by explosive devices. 

The Islamic State combatants booby-trapped buildings and fields, as well as a road linking the village to the nearby town of Tel al-Reem and laid explosive devices around the football field. Built in 2014, this was the only recreational and sports facility in the area.

Several improvised mines partially excavated near the football field in Sultan Abdullah village (March 2022)
Several improvised mines partially excavated near the football field in Sultan Abdullah village (March 2022)

Over the last few years, four accidental explosions have been recorded in the village of Sultan Abdullah. One person was killed and three injured. In March 2022, SHO deminers cleared the area, neutralising sixteen improvised landmines and one unexploded ordnance.

Today, displaced families are returning to their homes, the road to the nearby village of Tel al-Reem has been reopened, and villagers are once again using the football field.

Renovations are still underway in the football field but villagers are already starting to use it again (April 2022)
Renovations are still underway in the football field but villagers are already starting to use it again (April 2022)

The residents of Sultan Abdullah also pointed out that the contaminated area was close to electricity poles, some of which containing electricity transformers. These were impossible to service due to the presence of explosive devices in the area, but are now accessible for repair and maintenance.

newsletter

Peut-on déminer à l’aide de drones? Une mine peut-elle tuer un chameau? Des réponses à vos questions, une fois par mois. Abonnez-vous pour ne rien rater!

  • Nouvelles du terrain
  • Vidéos de déminage
  • Interviews d’experts
  • Événements
  • Offres d’emploi

Ces articles pourraient vous intéresser

Pastor and risk education volunteer

Pastor and risk education volunteer

" I take advantage of my sermons to talk about unexploded ordnance " Joselito Remedios, 54, is a pastor and an explosive ordnance risk education provider. For the past year, he has been a member of the Fondation suisse de déminage (FSD)’s volunteer team in the...

read more
Deminer’s anecdotes

Deminer’s anecdotes

Some time ago, FSD was invited to visit a sixth-grade class at the Florimont Institute in Geneva to talk to students about humanitarian demining. After the presentation, the children asked questions which were recorded and passed on to our deminers in the field. This...

read more
What does an improvised mine look like?

What does an improvised mine look like?

Each year, thousands of civilians lose their lives and are injured during explosions from various weapons and ammunition: bombs, rockets, mines, etc. Involved in almost half of the cases in 2020 are “improvised explosive devices”, tinkered with everyday objects and...

read more
Demining: women make their mark

Demining: women make their mark

Humanitarian demining has long been seen as a rather masculine field. Today, mentalities have changed and many organizations have mixed or all-female teams. FSD trained its first female deminers 15 years ago in Sri Lanka, and recently established a demining team...

read more
The challenges of winter demining

The challenges of winter demining

In some of the countries where FSD operates, climatic conditions fluctuate between extremes. The dry and scorching summers are followed by harsh winters where snow and rain fall in abundance. These variations not only greatly affect the daily lives of the inhabitants...

read more
Preventing accidents through social media

Preventing accidents through social media

In order to raise awareness on the risks of explosive devices among affected populations, mine action organizations traditionally make “live” presentations. Today, digital means, and in particular social networks, make it possible to reach more people and thus promote...

read more
Our deminers are back in the mine fields

Our deminers are back in the mine fields

In August, Iraqi government COVID-19 restrictions on NGOs began to lift and mine action organisations were allowed to start back to work with a 25% capacity. FSD mobilised two full teams in Kudila village, Makhmour District, Nineweh Province; this included refresher...

read more