Uganda: Helping Landmine Victims Become Self-Reliant

In Uganda, located in Central Africa, there is still a massive amount of remaining landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) as a result of the 40 year civil war. AAR Japan has assisted landmine victims since 2009 in cooperation with the Uganda Landmine Survivors Association (ULSA). Today, in Yumbe District in North Uganda, where there remains a serious issue of mine pollution, we offer assistance to 25 victims to start high-demand businesses such as general stores and beekeeping. We also provide them with guidance about business management. The following is the report from Margaret Arach ORECH, the Director of ULSA.

Supporting small businesses of landmine and UXO victims

Ms. Amina CHADIRU (age 35) stepped on a landmine and lost her left leg when she went to collect edible termites in July, 1997. After the accident, she was unable to have a stable job and did not have enough income to support herself. However, since she has started selling secondhand clothes with the support from AAR and ULSA , her income has increased. “My store has become well known in this area and now, I am able to send my six kids to school”, she said with delight.

Ms. CHADIRU lost her left leg in a landmine accident. A bicycle and old clothes were provided to her to start a business (May 13th, 2014).

The life of Mr. Amigo KASSIM (age 45) who lost his right hand as a child has also changed significantly with ULSA and AAR’s support. Mr. KASSIM received support to start a general store, and his business has caught on. He is now able to send his children to school. He is also able to contribute some money on ceremonial occasions, and people no longer treat him as an outcast in the community.

ULSA will cooperate with AAR to continuously assist landmine victims trying to become self-reliant by starting a business.

Mr. KASSIM can now afford enough food with the income from his general store, and his family has become healthier (May 13th, 2014).
Margaret Arach ORECH -Uganda Landmine Survivors Association
ORECH is the Director of Uganda Landmine Survivors Association (ULSA), as well as the Ambassador of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). In 1998, she lost her right leg when the bus she was on rolled on an anti-tank mine. She has been appealing the importance to solve landmine problems in international conferences. She is a single mother with five children. (profile as of the date of the article)
Japanese-English translation by Ms Yukari Onda
English editing by Mr Allan Richardz

The article on this page has been translated by volunteers as part of the AAR Volunteer Program. Their generous contributions allow us to spread our activities and ideas globally, through an ever-growing selection of our reports from the field.