The hidden danger - Hakim’s story

Improving lives of mine victims and persons with disabilities


2 April 2012

By Ibrahim Baba-ali, Programme Specialist, Mine Action, UNDP Iraq

Hakim Salih Hakim is the head of his household and is the father of three children.  He lives in the Soran district of the Erbil Governorate and previously worked as a guard at a government’s office.  “Life wasn’t too bad then, we had our own place and I had a steady income from my job” Hakim remembers.

Hakim’s life was unexpectedly changed in 2008.  His work was far from home and Hakim saw his family  only on weekends and holidays.  He once arrived back home for a few days of leave and decided to landscape the piece of land that surrounded his home. While digging a ditch, Hakim’s father struck a mine with his spade. The mine instantly killed his father and Hakim lost his legs. In an instant, his life and the situation of his family were changed forever. Hakim's son, who witnessed the fatal accident was severely traumatized and  continues to have nightmares and psychological problems ever since.

The Diana Orthopaedic Limbs Centre, with funding from the Government of Japan through UNDP Iraq, provided Hakim with prostheses and helped him renovate his house and modify it so he could move easily around. The Centre  helped him set up a small shop close to his home providing an income  for his family. “After the accident, the whole family’s life was turned upside down.  We believed we would never be happy again,” Hakim’s wife noted. “Through this kind support, things have changed” she added.

With funding from the Government of Japan, UNDP Iraq supported three national NGOs which provided victim assistance services in the three Governorates in Kurdistan Region. The assistance provided 21,097 physiotherapy services to persons with disabilities,  gave 2,719 prosthetic limbs and 8,780 orthoses and 9,120 mobility aids, maintained 8,819 orthopedic limbs.  421 persons with disabilities benefited from income generation projects and 90 persons received vocational training in carpentry, blacksmithing, computing and tailoring.  In addition, 52 home adaptations were completed, improving victim’s mobility within their homes*.


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