Breaking the fast with risk education messages

Iraq - The 14th day of Ramadan coincides with the full moon, the ultimate indicator for starting and ending the holy month of Ramadan. For the fasting community, this day is important since it marks the middle of the month and it is celebrated with specific food when possible.

The population of Western Mosul, is facing not only the ongoing battles to retake the occupied areas and the resulting violence, but also the explosive threat left from conflict. The people of Western Mosul will not be able to celebrate this important day since they are either in camps or on their way to camps to seek protection.

The threat from explosive hazards such as improvised explosive devises (IEDs) are causing risks for fleeing women, children and men. In the last two weeks 235 explosive incidents took place in Mosul involving 124 explosive hazards. The number of people fleeing Mosul has now reached 575.000 and continues to increase due to intense military operations.

United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), through the Iraqi Health and Social Care Organisation (IHSCO), has delivered emergency risk education at Al-Aqrab Junction and Albu-Saif. With the generous support of the government of the United Kingdom, UNMAS’ implementing partner IHSCO led different forms of risk education activities; to make people aware of the risks caused by explosive hazards.

Recently our field-teams came up with a creative way of bringing people’s attention to risk messages by offering dates and cold water with a risk messages printed on bottles and packages.
Al-Aqrab and Albu-Saif Junction are locations where returnees pass through on their way to their homes in Mosul. The teams from IHSCO have intensified their work towards returnees. In addition to the water bottles, they also provided leaflets and a single-page instructions on what to do and how to behave before and after return to their homes.

Mohammed, an elderly receiving a water bottle with a risk education message said: “Do you know son, we have not drunk cold water for three months. Thank you so much”.

By Leyla Ben H'mida, Communication Specialist, UNMAS Iraq

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNMAS

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