From Mel West:
In my book, “AlphaPET” the letter “X” is for the land mine explosion that took the legs of two young girls in Cambodia. The story of Ros Romdol is typical. Until she was nine years old she survived the war in Cambodia without harm. Then one morning she and her 14 years old friend, Tearn, ventured into the jungle to gather bamboo shoots to sell at the market.
Ros remembers the quiet “click” of the detonator underfoot, then the roar, then being flung through the air. Her left leg was shattered.
Tearn ran to help her, lifting her into her arms. They took two steps and, “click”. Their parents found them together, four hours later. Both girls survived, but Romdol lost her leg, and Tearn lost both legs and her sanity.
Landmines were invented in 1862 by General Rains of the Confederate army, during the Civil War, and at the battle of Yorktown. Today the major countries with landmines in them are (with millions of landmines listed and estimated);
Egypt, 23: Iran, 16; Angola, 15; Afghanistan, 10; Iraq, 10; Cambodia, 9; Kuwait, 5; Bosnia-Herzegovina, 3; Mozambique, 3; Somalia, 1.
Many of these landmines are old and hard to locate, creating vast acreages of land called “Devil’s Gardens,” that are unproductive. They continue to take the lives of the innocent, and-or maim them for life.
Mobility Worldwide (PET) was called into being partly to provide hand-powered transportation for the victims of land mines in Zaire. Landmines are an evil device that keeps on killing and maiming many years later.
Heifer has replaced water buffalo killed by landmines, but no one has pretended to replace the persons so destroyed.
Mel West