Posts tagged demining
Posts tagged demining
APOPO, the humanitarian organisation that uses rats in landmine clearance work has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia.
APOPO’s Kim Warren has signed the agreement in a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
The humanitarian org trains African Giant Pouched Rats to sniff out buried landmines. The rats are too light to trigger the landmines, resulting in a humane and effective method.
On October 24, 2013 my colleague Anna Radivilova, a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, had the honor of representing the U.S. Government at a wonderful event commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Mine Detection Dog Center (MDDC) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event brought together friends and supporters of the MDDC to celebrate the Center’s contributions over the last decade to reinforce humanitarian demining throughout the Balkans. Deputy Minister of Civil Affairs Ms. Denisa Sarajlić-Maglic and representatives of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Armed Forces demining unit also attended.
The MDDC opened on October 24, 2003 with the full support of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is proud to have provided the initial funding to support the MDDC for the first three years. Since then, under the capable leadership of its Director, Mr. Nermin Hadžimujagić, the MDDC has developed into one of the world’s centers of excellence for providing dogs to safely sniff out and detect landmines and other explosive remnants of war, such as unexploded bombs, mortars, and artillery shells, as well as conduct training for the dogs’ human handlers for deployment globally. Once mine detecting dogs signal the precise locations of landmines or unexploded ordnance, clearance teams can get to work to remove these hidden hazards, allowing residents to return safely to roads, fields, and communities, promoting post-conflict recovery and renewed economic development.
This opportunity is open to JMU students and graduates only!
Every year CISR offers a fellowship to a JMU senior or recent graduate. The Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellowship for Humanitarian Demining is a paid position with the U.S. Department of State, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (DoS/PM/WRA). The fellowship was established in 1999 to raise awareness among the American people about landmine contamination around the world and U.S. government efforts to address the problem.
In 2013, the fellowship program was expanded to a two-year, career-development opportunity. The fellowship retained its name and meaning as a memorial, but offers a longer-term plan for personal and professional development. Each year, a new “Junior Fellow” will be selected from the pool of applicants. At the end of the first year of the fellowship, the Junior Fellow will become the Senior Fellow (see discussion of differentiated job responsibilities below) for the second year of the program.
The fellowship will run from July 1, 2014–June 30, 2016.
In Croatia, two decades after the war of independence, it is estimated that thousands of landmines are still buried in the soil. The European Union is urging the country to get rid of those deadly devices, once and for all.
Croatia’s entry into the European Union has reignited hopes the country will be mine-free by the year 2019. Croatian authorities estimate that mines cost the country half a million euros per year in lost potential. At the same time, the population lives with the constant fear of setting off one of these deadly devices.
With more avenues of funding available, Croatian officials plan to rid the soil of an estimated 70,000 unexploded landmines, using a combination of science, technology and hard work.
When the war finally concluded in 2009 it was estimated that as many as one million landmines and items of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) remained as a deadly legacy of the conflict. Based on surveys conducted after the war a total of 2.065 km2 of land was designated as Confirmed Hazardous Areas. This feature explores the use of Information Communications Technology (ICT) in the day to day operations of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), an international mine action agency deployed in Sri Lanka.
The location is Puthukudiyiruppu township in Mullaitivu District of Northern Sri Lanka, once the nerve centre of LTTE operations and the scene of the last stages of the civil war. Four years on, the main street is flanked with shells of buildings. The walls that still stand, are aerated by bullet holes the size of your fist. It is hard to imagine that this was once someone’s neighbourhood, their route to school or work; their home. Development is everywhere. Schools, churches and hospitals are being rebuilt, flood lights illuminate roadwork at night and your mobile phone hardly ever drops out.
Mogadishu — After liberating regions of Somalia from al-Shabaab, the government must now deal with the landmines the militant group left behind and look to international partners for help, observers say.
"Landmines have been planted everywhere, especially in areas affected by conflict," said retired Colonel Mohamed Farah, a de-mining expert and military adviser to the Somali armed forces. "They pose a huge threat to everyone, as even mosques and Qur’an schools are not safe from them."
"Areas that were previously under al-Shabaab’s control are heavily mined, as the group planted thousands of landmines and explosive devices in those areas to secure strategic locations and prevent the Somali armed forces and the African Union forces from making progress," he told Sabahi.
Prince Harry tours same region as mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, did months before her death.
Prince Harry is visiting Angola to view mine-clearing operations by Halo Trust just as he did three years ago in Mozambique. (HaloTrust.org)
Prince Harry traveled to Angola to observe mine clearance run by the Halo Trust, the same charity his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales supported.
"Prince Harry is visiting a number of de-mining teams across the region and will be touring minefields and meeting with beneficiaries of Halo’s work," said the charity’s chief executive, Guy Willoughby.
The charity has cleared and destroyed some 21,300 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines from the region so far. Halo employs more than 650 Angolans in the operation.
Mandated federal budget cuts have stymied mine removal efforts
Steve Costner of the State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, which is the largest single source of money for mine removal operations around the world.
WASHINGTON — The inability of Congress to bridge the partisan divide on fiscal policy is literally a matter of life and death for some civilians in war-ravaged nations, where US-funded operations to remove unexploded bombs and land mines are being canceled or curtailed for lack of money.
Leftover explosives continue to maim and kill people at a high rate from South America to Southeast Asia — with 4,300 casualties worldwide in 2011. But congressional inaction on budgets and the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester have blocked State Department funds for humanitarian groups that remove leftover ordnance.
US-supported removal teams have been laid off, weapons removal efforts have been suspended, and pledges of artificial limbs, wheelchairs, and other assistance for victims put on hold.
In a recent study conducted by a group of demining experts working in Afghanistan, it was discovered that in the past ten years, more than 1,500 people died or were injured as a result of landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in the Badakhshan province.
Saeed Agha Ateq, a demining official from the north-eastern area of Afghanistan, said that nearly every day several civilians and security officials are killed in such explosions. Looking ahead, however, he and his coworkers expressed hope in Afghanistan being cleared of mines and IEDs in the next ten years.
The 1,500 figure was concluded by demining officials following their clearance of ten districts in northeastern Badakhshan province. The officials said that the districts they cleared are now experiencing a sudden surge in the number of residents settling there. They attributed this phenomenon to people’s growing confidence in the safety of the area.
Abandoned landmines injure or kill hundreds of people around the world every year. Electronic training mines could make mine clearance safer.
I wiggle a slim, flat-sided metal rod into the sand, trying desperately not to push too hard and set off an anti-personnel mine. The probe clacks against something solid. I withdraw it and push it in again, at a shallower angle this time, to try to find out how deeply the object is buried. Big mistake. A bright red flash and a loud, explosive “crump!” – the mine has detonated.
In the field, this simple miscue would have cost me a limb, or maybe my life. But I have the very good fortune to be delving into a sandbox at the Royal College of Art in London. I’m checking out an idea hatched by Christopher Natt, a design engineer at the RCA and nearby Imperial College. He has developed a novel way to train deminers, using a clutch of intelligent, 3D-printed landmine facsimiles.