DDG removes unexploded ordnances and marks the start of the EOD operation in LibyaWith the removal of two unexploded items in Tripoli and Sebha, the Danish Demining Group (DDG) is pleased to announce the start of the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) activities in Libya. This marks the beginning of a long and ambitious implementation period of the DDG humanitarian mine action program in Libya, which aims to further decrease extensive threats that explosive remnants of war (ERW) pose on the country’s population.
In October 2016, DDG Libya received accreditation for three EOD teams, and in November 2016, the Libyan Mine Action Center tasked DDG and its local implementing partner, the Free Fields Foundation (3F), to conduct clearances of single unexploded ordnances in Sebha and Tripoli. Currently, DDG is the only EOD accredited international organization in Libya, and will continue with the removal of ERW in the country with funding from Sida, the European Commission, the UK, and the US Department of State's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA).
On December 13, 2016, 3F had removed the first unexploded ordnance from the home of a private citizen in Tripoli under the supervision of DDG. On December 27, DDG also managed to remove the second unexploded ordnance in Sebha. Having spoken to the beneficiaries, 3F reported on the immediate outcome of the EOD intervention in Tripoli:
“They told us that they feel more relieved and safe, especially when their children go out to play.”
DDG focuses on developing national capacities, and makes the capacity building an integral part of its overall programming in Libya. Thanks to the UK funded EOD training that the 3F staff received in Kosovo, the organization was able to implement EOD activities independently and with great efficiency.
“We have benefited greatly from the EOD training in Kosovo; we gained considerable knowledge, determination and willingness to move forward and complete the process on our own”, Program Manager of 3F, Rabie Jawashi says.
For more than five years, DDG has worked intensively on securing safety and creating a higher quality of life for the people of Libya. DDG have faced huge challenges due to the political and safety situation in Libya, which has forced DDG to manage the entire operation remotely from Tunis since 2014. However, because of the staff’s great dedication and well established local partnerships, DDG has managed to ensure greater safety for thousands of Libyan citizens through non-technical survey, risk education and EOD activities.
Having achieved great success with 3F and the Libyan Mine Action Center over the years, DDG will continue to conduct and manage humanitarian mine action activities in Libya through local partnerships and capacity building.DDG will continue to work under Sida, the European Commission, the UK, UNDP, and WRA funds. The goal of these grants is to help DDG recreate safe environments in Libya where people can live free of remnants of conflict and armed violence. More specifically, DDG will use the grants to help facilitate safe returns of displaced communities, decrease ERW related casualties, and increase the productive use of land and infrastructure.