Harshi Gunawardana, A PhD Student of the University of Sri Jayewrdenepura who has extensive knowledge in the field of Mine Risk Education recently spoke of managing the residual clearance while sharing certain tips on minimizing the risk of the Salawa explosion.
Speaking to both the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Observer, Ms. Gunawadana pointed out that people should be on the lookout for ‘Unexploded Ordnance’ (UXO) which is “often extremely unstable and can detonate at the slightest touch”. The residue has also the potential of causing serious injury, dismemberment, or death at the event of explosion. She further went into explaining both the long and short term effects of this hazardous residue and advised parents to inform their children especially to be vigilant since “children are particularly vulnerable to UXO dangers as reported worldwide.”
She further laid down the following precautions to ensure a safe atmosphere,
- On identifying any item of UXO, be cautious; do not touch or approach the object.
- Report UXO to the appropriate authorities (Police/Army); the authorities can then remove the items, making the area safe for people and creating an environment where economic and social development can occur, free from the constraints imposed by contamination.
- Children and adults can practise safe behaviour if educated about UXO risks and how to react when encountering UXO at home, in the garden, school yard, or by the road.
- Public risk education can also take the form of dissemination through presentations to large groups of people, posters, leaflets, billboards, brochures, broadcast messages via radio and TV channels.
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