Scale & Scope

Part I addresses the primary concern of the Handbook: to establish the scale and scope of the challenge posed by unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS). The first section of this part provides an overview of the number of incidents, describes their distribution, and notes trends when possible. The causes of explosions are the subject of the second section. These are classified as (1) lack of surveillance leading to ammunition deterioration; (2) inappropriate storage systems and infrastructure; (3) handling errors and inappropriate working practices; (4) failure to take into account external, environmental influences and events; (5) poor security; and (6) a cause that is currently undetermined or unrecorded. The third section considers the effects of unplanned explosions. It explores direct effects (including casualties and displacement) and indirect effects (including reduced access to health care and schooling). The fourth section introduces some of the actors and initiatives working towards making UEMS incidents less likely and reducing the damage that they cause.

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