Mine Advisory Group’s Iraq Report, July 2010

MAG (pronounced “Mag”) – Mines Advisory Group – is a neutral and impartial humanitarian organisation that clears the remnants of conflict for the benefit of communities worldwide.

Summary of outputs:

  • MAG teams released 632,966 m2 of land through a combination of electronic, hand mechanical, MDD clearance and area reduction as well as minefield cancellation;
  • MAG teams removed and destroyed 956 hazardous items;
  • CWD response teams completed 155 tasks to safely remove and destroy 6,609 Conventional Weapons (CW);
  • MAG and national partner NGO’s CL teams conducted 74 Mine Risk Education (MRE) sessions targeting 788 beneficiaries and 1 Small Arms and Light Weapons Risk Education (SALWRE) session targeting 12 primary school students

In July, MAG Iraq Mine Action Teams (MAT) completed clearance operations in 10 prioritized clearance tasks in Dohuk, Sulimaniyah and Kirkuk governorates directly benefiting more than 4,781 individuals and supporting village rehabilitation, agricultural and socio-economic development in the region.

Coordination meetings were held with both regional Mine Action authorities, the Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA) and the General Directorate of Mine Affairs (GDMA). Activities, plans and priorities were the main points of the meetings agenda. Arrangements for handing over of the cleared lands to the local communities were also discussed during the meetings.

16 MATs deploying from the programme’s 3 operations bases in Sulimaniyah, Chamchamal and Dohuk continued clearance operations in 9 clearance tasks that, when completed, will support agricultural and socio-economic development and conflict recovery. MATs were deployed to 6 prioritized clearance sites in Dohuk, Sulimaniyah and Kirkuk. Clearance sites were prioritized through the community assessment survey conducted by MAG Community Liaison (CL) teams. MATs identified 1 new area of contaminated land through demarcation in Khanaqin sub-district of Diyala governorate.

11 Community Liaison (CL) teams continued to deploy on daily basis to deliver MRE and SALW RE, and conduct training of trainers for community leaders and teachers, primary school follow up visits, community assessment surveys, leaflet distribution, and identifying and reporting unguarded stockpiles of CW. Teams visited 129 different villages in Kirkuk, Sulimaniyah, Diyala, Dohuk and Ninewa (Mosul) governorates. CL teams continued to liaise with land owners and local authorities to secure their approval for clearance activities.

During the annual Ministry of Education (MoE) teachers training, CL staff in Dohuk conducted capacity building training sessions in MRE delivery to 306 primary school teachers. Staff in Sulimaniyah conducted training sessions to 1,088 primary school teachers and 8 religious leaders. 58 primary school teachers were trained in MRE delivery in Diyala governorate. MAG has been working in partnership with MoE for more than 10 years conducting trainings in MRE delivery for the newly graduated primary school teachers.

Local partner NGOs (Al Ghad) and (Work for Peace) CL staff were trained by MAG Iraq CL staff in the delivery of capacity building training sessions. Local partner NGOs participated in the annual teachers training, conducting capacity building training sessions to 152 primary school teachers in Kirkuk governorate and 102 primary school teachers in Diyala governorate.

Local partner NGOs teams continued to deliver MRE to at risk communities in Diyala and Kirkuk governorates directly benefiting 135 individuals.  Teams conducted monitoring follow up visits to the religious leaders trained in April, May and June identifying further training needs and distributing different MRE materials.

MAG’s Conventional Weapons Destruction (CWD) teams deployed to 68 different villages completing 155 emergency tasks to safely remove and destroy 6,609 CW. Highlights included the removal and safe destruction of 1,412 hazardous items in Halabja area of Sulimaniyah and the safe removal and destruction of 4 CW stockpiles of 203 hazardous items in Atrush area of Dohuk. Items were posing significant threat to the local communities and picnickers visiting the area.

MAG’s 2 mechanical teams and 2 manual support teams worked in 6 prioritized minefields in Sulimaniyah and Kirkuk governorates to support MATs in achieving operational efficiency. This month, mechanical and support teams deployed 9 different mechanical assets and attachments.

Mine Detection Dogs (MDD) and manual support teams continued their activities in 4 prioritized minefields in Sulimaniyah and Kirkuk governorate undertaking clearance operations in low and medium risk areas of the minefields supporting MATs in achieving operations’ efficiency and quality.

The programmes’ Training, Monitoring and Evaluation unit (TMEU) conducted a 4 day refresher training for supervisory staff in Dohuk on the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.

MAG would like to express its gratitude to the following current donors to the Iraq programme:

  • Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State
  • German Government
  • The US Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate
  • Irish Aid
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Netherlands
  • Stichting Vluchteling
  • Government of Belgium
  • Marshall Legacy Institute
  • SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency)
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