Like Abdou Hamdi, farmers and herders who take their cattle – goats and sheep – to graze in areas where the risk is unknown are the ones most affected by landmines in Yemen.
Because of the nature of their occupation, any physical or emotional injury can have devastating, life-changing implications.
Abdou was herding his sheep when he detonated a landmine.
“My right leg was injured; right above my knee. Now I just sit. I can’t live a normal life,” he told Project Masam from his village. “The landmines have halted my life. I became disabled. I used to go to work and now I am just idle. I have no source of income as I can’t work. I can’t do anything anymore.”
According to the young man, the Houthis militias “planted landmines in farms, mountains, grasslands and even planted some of them inside the houses.”
Luckily for other herders in Abdou’s area, Project Masam was called after the young man’s accident and worked to remove landmines from the area to allow village life to continue.
“Thank God, since the arrival of Masam’s clearance team, there have been no more accidents,” Abdou said.
Since the project launched in mid-2018, Masam demining teams have cleared 24,800,280sqm of liberated Yemeni land, effectively locating and destroying 263,797 explosive items including 3,984 banned anti-personnel landmines.