26 Sep 2013 04:00
Almost two decades after the war in Bosnia & Herzegovina ended, the country remains threatened by more than 120,000 landmines — about 2.5 percent of the total land mass — that remain a dark legacy of the war, buried in the ground along former frontlines.
While urban areas are being largely demined, people living in the remote landside of Bosnia are permanently threatened by the hidden hazards in the ground near their homes. Relatives of landmine victims, as well as survivors, mostly do not receive any governmental help. For these people live in remote areas with high unemployment rates with no possibility of earning money for a living, the only income for most is to collect firewood or fruits in the nearby forests. Some of these families have victims spanning two or three generations.
Without help from the government, the people largely depend on the Landmine Survivors Initiative (LSI), a non-governmental institution that provides affected people and communities with psychological and financial support. In some cases the NGO provides a greenhouse, in others agricultural machines, so that people can try to make a living instead of depending on the woods for survival.
Photos and Text by Michael Biach