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Myanmar citizens face food security issues after landmine explosions

Landmine explosions in the hills of Shwe Kyin, Myanmar, have left residents scared and without access to the area that was once their livelihood, IRIN reports.

Resident Zaw Lwin, was hit by a landmine 12 years ago while searching for bamboo, wood and ginko nuts. He has since been fearful to go back to the land where it all happened, though many other people still do.

"Today I have neither the legs nor the courage to go to the forest," Lwin told the publication.

In the region, more than 40 landmine explosions go off every year, with half of them occurring during the gingko season - between June and August. Across Myanmar, conditions are equally as bad. In 2010, 34 of its 325 towns were considered landmine-contaiminated, according to a 2010 report from Geneva Call.

Those displaced due to conflicts between the Myanmar military forces and the Kachin Independence Army are at a greater risk of suffering casualties caused by the landmines because they don't know the land as well, the publication reports.

To combat this problem, humanitarian group International Campaign to Ban Land Mines is working to deliver aid by providing technology to remove or disarm the mines. Thus far, the Myanmar government has denied them access to do so.

Despite the dangers, citizens continue to work in the mine-filled hills to ensure food security. For many, getting bamboo and nuts are they only way they know how to make a living.
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