Reference : V-P-CG-E-00149
Date : 03/2012
Country/Region : CONGO
Caption : Brazzaville, Talangai district. An ICRC explosive ordnance disposal specialist participates in a clearing operation after the explosion of ammunition stockpiles.
Photographer : s.n.
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website, Operational Update, 22-03-2012

Republic of the Congo: clearing the stricken area and reuniting families

Since ammunition stockpiles exploded in Brazzaville on 4 March, unexploded devices in inhabited areas have been and still are a major hazard for the population and emergency services alike.


Clearance activities

Under an agreement with the Ministry of Defence, and in cooperation with the United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC), ICRC explosive ordnance disposal experts are currently at work clearing and securing the hazardous areas. The ICRC's clearance effort is focusing mainly on Sector 1 in Brazzaville's striken area, which comprises the Ouenzé and Talangai districts. With some 350,000 inhabitants, these districts are among the most populated – and hardest hit – in the capital. The aim of the work currently under way is to reduce the danger as quickly as possible for the population, rescue workers and emergency services. A swift clearance of the area will also enable people to return to their homes.

The ICRC is also working with the Congolese armed forces to remove explosive devices that had been cast onto the premises of Talangai Hospital, one of the capital's main medical centres. The hospital was partially destroyed by the blast and needs to be repaired.

The ICRC made a specially equipped ambulance and medical personnel trained for mine-clearance operations available to ordnance disposal specialists already on the ground (three disposal teams from Handicap International and one from Demeter-Benin). Fifteen sets of first-aid equipment used in operations of this kind, including such items as stretchers, stethoscopes, blood-pressure monitors as well as first-aid supplies, were given to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

To support clearance operations, 70 Congolese Red Cross volunteers trained to raise awareness of the dangers of unexploded devices are giving out information in the neighbourhoods affected and in places where displaced people have gathered. Using specially designed brochures and posters, they are explaining the risks involved, how people should behave, and how the work currently being done by ordnance disposal experts is progressing.

Original material : digital
Resolution : 2592x3872
Orientation : portrait
Colour/B&W : colour