Unlock the Land: Mines Advisory Group (MAG) clear 149,605 square metres of land in Laos, so women, men and children can live safely and build their futures

13 February 2024

For people living in the village of Vangkhom, Laos, there is always the fear of an explosion due to the deadly unexploded bombs that scatter the area. This impacts the access to vital land that communities need to live and expand their livelihoods.

Through their one-year UK Aid Match project, MAG teams are searching and clearing the land, and delivering lifesaving lessons to members of the community so they are aware of risks associated with lethal items and help promote safer behaviour throughout the village.

In the first six months of the project, between April and September 2023, the MAG teams have cleared 149,605 square metres of land which has directly impacted the lives of 154 women, men and children. They have also disposed of 148 deadly explosive items.

A group of people stood on a piece of land wearing overalls and hats with some clearing eqipment.

Photo: The MAGs clearing team on the land in Vangkhom

As well as the clearing of land, the lessons are having a huge impact within the communities. Xaiyaphong and Nountha, two boys who attended the sessions, found two bombs on the way to school. They said “We used rocks to mark the location where we found them and then told our parents and teacher about them”. Thanks to the lessons, the boys, their parents and teacher knew exactly what to do by notifying the MAGs team, who were then able to safely dispose of the items.

Now children can play and go to school without fear, and families can use the newly cleared land to plant crops, investing in their own futures.

Visit MAG’s website to find out more about them and their UK Aid Match project.