Mine threat will be present in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a long time. Current size of “suspicious” dangerous field in B&H is 1. 166 km2 or 2,3% of total land in B&H, and there are estimated more than 80.000 unexploded mines. Around 60% of suspicious endangered field is in forest.
In general assessment of mine threat in BiH in 2015, there were identified 1.369 endangered communities by mines and other unexploded ordinance where around 517.000 citizens live (approximately 14% of total population of BiH). 18% of this population is at high risk. In general assessment from 2015, there were identified 61 endangered communities by cluster munitions, of which 50% is at mine risk as well.
Most of these fields are in rural areas. It is assessed that population in urban areas is mainly safe while those in rural areas are economically dependent on access to contaminated land. Analysis of mine accidents in BiH shows that economically vulnerable categories of population are at the same time most endangered from mines. Direct connection between poverty and mine accidents has a consequence that one person in a family becomes mine victim more than once.
Analysis of mine accidents also show that most victims are registered at early autumn and late spring, when people work in fields and collect woods. Apart from collecting woods and agricultural works, one of main causes of accidents is collecting secondary raw materials which have certain economic value. Most of deaths are caused by mine PROM-1.
From 1992. till end of 2015. 8.358 people were injured by mines. From 1992. to 1995. 6.351 got injured while after the war 1.735 got injured (604 deaths).
Taking all given facts in consideration, it is obvious that continuous mine awareness program is necessary in order to avoid new mine victims.
The main aim of the program is to raise awareness on mine danger and to decrease number of mine victims through education, information in media and direct contact with target groups at risk. This program consists of public information, education and connecting with endangered community.
Educated and certified personnel of the RCRS (coordinator, instructors and managers) run the mine awareness program through lectures in schools and local communities and through conversation with citizens in endangered zones. Target groups in the program are children, returnees and other risk categories (hunters, fishermen, forestry workers, collectors of wild berries…)
This program also includes registering of mine victims and providing aid for them. Every year from 8. to 15. December RCRS celebrates Week of Mine Awareness and at that period it organizes tribunes, competitions on mines, all with aim to provide better education for the population.
Every year RCRS organizes “Think Mines” competitions for primary school students.
In performing this program RCRS cooperates with other institutions and organizations such as BHMAC, Civil protection, Handicap International, LSN, Mercy Corps, NPA, EUFOR, HOPE-87, ITF, STOP MINES. .