The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority yesterday reported a 96 percent increase in the number of casualties during the first four months of 2019 compared to the same period last year.
According to its report, there were 47 casualties from January to April, including eight deaths and 39 injuries, an increase of 96 percent compared to 24 casualties in the same period last year.
The report also noted an increase in the number of accidents, from 15 to 26 from January until April, a 73 percent jump compared to last year.
“Of the 26 mine, explosive remnants of war accidents, eight cases, or 31 percent, involved mines, while 18, or 69 percent, were ERW accidents,” the report said.
“From January to April, eight people were killed and 39 others were injured,” it added. “[Last year in the same period] five people were killed, 19 were injured.”
The report noted that from January 1979 to April this year, a total of 64,825 incidents were recorded, which killed 19,776 people and injured 36,007 others.
Last month, CMAA first vice president Ly Thuch said incidents occur because explosive devices were stepped on, or were taken home to dismantle.
Mr Thuch noted that millions of mines, unexploded ordnance and ERWs have been cleared since 1992, and that 4.5 million Cambodians can now safely use cleared lands.
“CMAA will continue to work with its mine action partners, including provincial authorities in order to reduce the number of accidents across the country to achieve a mine-free Cambodia by 2025,” he said.