North-eastern Nigeria is littered with thousands of landmines and improvised explosives after almost a decade of conflict in the region. The Islamist group Boko Haram continues to attack towns and villages and to kidnap hundreds of school girls, most notoriously from the town of Chibok in 2014. The number of people being killed and injured by mines and explosives in Nigeria has greatly increased according to research by the Mines Advisory Group (MAG). Over 160 killed in the past two years, with hundreds more injured. It's had a devastating impact onthe region and prevents large areas of land from being farmed, and it's a familiar pattern across the globe.
So how many landmines are there around the world? Minefields are often the deadly remnants of war left behind long after the combatants have gone. Under international law when mines are laid they must be mapped so they can be removed safely at a later date. All too often they'renot mapped or maps are lost and process of de-mining can be a slow and dangerous one. In 2016, post-conflict clearance operations undertaken by charities such as the Halo Trust destroyed over 200,000 anti-personnel and 20,000 anti-vehicle mines around the world. Butthis hardly scratches the surface of the problem. There are still an estimated 110 million anti-personnel mines still in the ground with more being laid every year in active conflict areas. Ina single year as many as 8,000 people are killed or seriously injured many of them children.That's almost one person killed or injured every hour of every day. That figure has risen as aresult of the widespread use of improvised explosive devices by non-government forces.