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EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis

"Raising awareness is very important because for almost 30 years, we had war in Kurdistan. Many people have no information about ammunition, explosives or mines. Our goal is to protect people and save their lives."

At the Domiz Camp, the largest Syrian refugee camp in the Duhok area, many people risk their lives almost every day because of mines and explosive devices.

Faras Ali is a technical field manager for the Mine Advisory Group (MAG). He is in charge of demining activities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Faras describes the situation: “Iraq is one of the most contaminated countries with mines. After ISIS came in 2014, the situation became worse, a lot worse than before.”

Rand Ksardar also works with MAG. She raises awareness on the dangers of explosive devices. Rand tirelessly tours the area, visiting schools and spreading basic knowledge amongst youth on the lethal mines and explosive devices still hidden in vast areas.

As part of her routine operations, Rand describes: “Today, we visited a school in the Domiz Syrian refugee camp to raise students' awareness. We showed them what mines and explosives look like, how to protect themselves, how to recognise them.”

Together with the Trust Fund, the Mine Advisory Group (MAG) steps up its awareness-raising and demining activities.

Rand stresses how important it is to get everyone on board and join in collective efforts to get rid of lethal devices to ensure that interested areas are safe again for people to return to, after Daesh's defeat in 2017.

“When they see explosives, most people call us to tell us what they saw and where. We then prepare a report and later our demining team goes and clears the area,” she concludes.