Due to heavy bombardment during the Libyan revolution, the town of Tawergha was largely abandoned. The town is heavily contaminated by all kinds of explosive weapons, including grenades, missiles, and rockets. Over the last three months, Humanity & Inclusion’s weapons specialists have removed more than 150 explosive devices from the streets of Tawargha.
Team leader Simon Elmont tells us more about the organization’s work:
HI’s team has identified and destroyed half a ton of weapons since November. Most were taken to a detonation site in the desert and blown up, but several rockets were too dangerous to move and had to be destroyed where they were found.
Our risk education teams reach out to the locals who have returned to area to make them aware of the threat posed by these bombs. We tell them that they can call us for free at any time to alert us to dangerous devices, which we then collect, defuse, or destroy.
The organization has already raised the awareness of some 1,300 people. The local population is grateful for this information and follows our guidelines—do not approach a suspicious object, do not try to move it, etc. We’re getting more and more calls, which shows they understand the dangers.
All returnees to Tawargha have attended at least one risk education session. The city council is closely involved and makes sure each returnee attends a session.
Some 600 people have returned permanently to Tawargha. Many people come back for a few days a month just to check their belongings, and then leave again. However, we expect a lot of people to return in the coming months.