15 August 2011

Mohammad's story

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.This is Mohammad Abd el Aal, a cluster bomb survivor. Now 12, he struggles daily to live a normal life with a prosthetic limb that, as a growing boy, regularly needs replacing.In March 2009 Mohammad was walking his family’s goats in the mountains by his home in southern Lebanon when he stepped on an unexploded cluster bomb submunition – one of hundreds of thousands left over after the war in 2006."I was walking and didn’t notice there was a bomb. I stepped on it and it exploded. The bones in my leg were shattered, but they fixed it by putting in rods. The other leg was ripped off. And my arm was broken."Mohammed was in hospital for 25 days being treated for his injuries. Although glad he can still walk and play football, Mohammed now fears the land that his family depends on and relies on constant help to ensure he has the assistance he needs to live as normal a life as possible."I wish that the engineers will come and clear the mountain of the bombs, because our lives depend on our goats. I also wish I could change my leg and get a new one."There are at least 2,897 survivors of cluster bombs and other unexploded ordnance including landmines in Lebanon, and thousands more throughout the world.12 August marks five years since cluster bombs were dropped on Lebanon. It also marks one month until governments gather in Beirut, Lebanon for a global meeting on the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions from 12-16 September.The CMC is calling on all countries to come to the Beirut conference and show progress in clearing contaminated land, destroying cluster munition stockpiles, and ensuring affected communities receive much-needed assistance.