Will clear M2 of land in Lebanon
One son killed and his twin boys seriously injured by landmines
Hassan lives in rural Lebanon. One son has been killed and two have been injured by landmines near the family home. It’s a thought too unbearable for most of us. But for parents in Lebanon, a step in the wrong place is all it can take for their family’s world to be blown apart.
When Hassan’s sons were tending the sheep there was an explosion. Hassan desperately called out to them but was met with silence. Abdullah, just seventeen years old, was tragically killed. His younger brother, Ismael, survived but lost both of his legs. He now navigates the rough terrain of his family’s farm in a wheelchair.
“It happened about 200 metres away from me,” Hassan told us. “There was an explosion. I could see my sheep but not my kids. I ran and shouted but there was no response. I could see one of my sons was dead. I pray you never in your life have to see anything like this”.
Just two months later Ismael’s twin brother, Abed, picked up a metal ball lying on the ground. Not knowing what it was, he threw it. The resulting explosion drove shards of metal into his leg and stomach. He lost a lot of blood but thankfully Abed survived.
One son killed and his twin boys both seriously injured by mines – home feels far from safe for Hassan and his family and for many more families in Lebanon. Hassan knows it was not a rare accident that killed Abdullah. He knows it could happen to another child – another of his children – any day, any hour, for as long as the mines remain.
With the Blue Line so densely packed with mines – MAG estimates between 360,000 – 400,000 - you might wonder why anyone chooses to call it home. But choice doesn’t come into it. Lebanon is a small country, half the size of Wales, and land is scarce, made more so with the nearly one million refugees who have fled from the conflict in Syria only to end up in Lebanon, with many living near dangerous minefields.
Matched funding from the UK government will be used to deploy teams of expert deminers to clear thousands of metres of land on the ‘Blue Line’ area, the border area in southern Lebanon, one of the most densely mine-ridden parts of the world.
As well as clearing the land, a crucial part of the work is educating children and families on what to do if they find a landmine. MAG helps people find ways to live alongside the danger of landmines and unexploded bombs until land can be cleared, so the risk of death and injury is reduced.
Home Safe Home
Across the Middle East, thousands of landmines and unexploded bombs lie ready to maim and kill at any moment. They are often found in and around people's homes where children live and play. Using highly trained staff and special machinery, MAG teams find and destroy these hidden killers before a child does. Donate today to our Home Safe Home appeal to help make people's homes a safe place once again.
Doubling donations with UK Aid Match
Give before 4 July 2019 and all public donations to our Home Safe Home appeal will be doubled by the UK government. Matched funding will help us clear 21,000m2 of land from unexploded bombs and landmines in Lebanon, while public donations will support our wider work in other conflict-affected communities.