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Afghanistan: Land Mines, 1994
Afghanistan: Impact of Land Mines on Health and Social Conditions

To document the effect of land mines on the health and social conditions of communities in Afghanistan, CIET conducted a survey in 37 Afghani communities in the winter of 1994. Only provinces to which there was relatively secure access were included in the survey. The sample reflected three distinct population groups: resident communities, Kuchi (nomad) bands, and displaced or refugee people. Some 12% of all households surveyed were affected directly by land mine explosions. Walking in the fields and between or around villages was found to be a high risk activity, but herding (their traditional livelihood) was particularly dangerous for nomads. Nomads reported losses amounting to nearly 35,000 animals, an average loss per household of 24.4 animals, worth the equivalent of US$2,933.
 
In one of every twenty households a member had tried to remove land mines, a practice carrying a four fold increase in the likelihood of someone being injured. More than half of land mine victims died and one in four lost one or more limbs. Among residents surviving mine incidents, 31% identified reduced productivity as the main effect of land mine accidents, while 26% of nomads identified mental health effects and dependency as the worst outcome. Eight victims out of ten went into debt to pay for their medical attention.
 
Focus groups concluded that the most appropriate channels for increasing the awareness about land mines were the radio, especially the BBC, community meetings, schools and mosques.
 
Funding for this survey was provided by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan, the Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation, the Agriculture Survey of Afghanistan, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan and others.

For further information see:
Andersson, N., Palha de Sousa, C., Paredes, S. Social cost of land mines in four countries: Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cambodia and Mozambique. British Medical Journal 1995; 311:718-721.