Arllat is a village in the region of Pristina, Kosovo. Because of its tactical location, the village was targeted in the 1999 Kosovo War and contaminated with cluster submunitions. This made the return of the local population after the end of the war dangerous, and the local people are still threatened by lethal leftover explosives to this day.
HALO’s work here is vital. Abedin Bujupi, a primary and lower secondary school is only 328 feet (100 meters) away from the hazardous area. Children are especially at risk of harm as they can mistake these explosives as toys. In the past few years as the village has expanded, several dangerous explosives have been found by locals during construction work. And residents continue to find explosives in their yards and in their gardens.
"We didn't know the risks of living here, until after we built our home and began finding explosives planting trees."
Maliq Bujupi, age 70, has lived in Arllat since the end of the war with eight other family members. They have a beautiful home, with a peaceful yard filled with apple trees, flowers, bushes, and a garden where they grow vegetables like onions.
But the family didn’t always live in such peace. After building their home, Maliq quickly began finding cluster munitions when planting trees and working in the garden.
Maliq found a total of eight cluster munitions himself, and thought his land was finally safe. But when HALO began clearing Arllat, deminers found two more cluster munitions in his yard. One of them was only 10 cm away from where Maliq had planted a tree. If Maliq had dug just slightly differently, there likely would have been a devastating accident.
Maliq and his family feel much safer since HALO has been working in Arllat. Maliq shared that he loves his home and loves living in Arllat, and he is grateful for the work HALO does for his family and for the entire village. He would like to thank the HALO teams in Kosovo and the generous donor, the U.S. Department of State for making Arllat safe.
This life-saving work is made possible thanks to funding from: The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA).