Every time I see a weird piece of large plastic or metal on the ground, I am grateful that I live in a country that does not face the threat of landmines like 89 countries in this world still do. This is what happened on the way home – I saw a weird plastic thing on the ground – and I began thinking of how grateful I am to not have to worry about them . . . but also, my concern over people who still do.
The reason is this: when I was seven, I learned that landmines can be disguised as children’s toys. This fact has stayed with me for the last twelve years.
Landmines are bombs that explode immediately when stepped upon . . . and they kill or severely injure 10,000 civilians every year. Those are people who had nothing to do with the landmine being placed. A landmine can cost as little as $3 to produce, so to a country’s military, especially a poor country at war, they gained popularity as a defense tactic. Some of them are placed “just because”.
A single landmine can cost $1000 to safely dismantle. Yes, that’s a thousand dollars to get rid of just ONE of the FIFTY MILLION landmines in the world.
A program my high school’s global issues group worked with almost every November is Adopt-A-Minefield, which helps allot funds to safely dismantle landmines. The program wrapped up at the end of 2009, after 10 years and the destruction of 1000 minefields, but, that doesn’t mean there’s still not work to do.
You can read more about all this, and other implications of landmines, at the United Nations landmine website.
Just give me a reason, that’s all that I’m asking for. Just tell me your reason . . . Nobody wins at war . . . From the frontline, you know it’s only down.