Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

SRI LANKA: Mine clearance could take 10 years or more

IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis

COLOMBO, 6 February 2012 (IRIN) – Landmine clearance in Sri Lanka’s conflict-affected north could take more than a decade, experts say.

“It is expected to take [in] excess of 10 years to fully mitigate all remaining contamination in Sri Lanka,” the Mine Action Project of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka told IRIN, citing a lack of resources coupled with the difficult nature of the work.

Approximately 126 sqkm of land remains to be cleared in the island’s north at the end of 2011, according to data from the National Mine Action Centre (NMAC).

Set up in July 2010, NMAC is the government’s lead agency in de-mining work in the country.

As of 31 December 2011, the largest remaining area was in Mannar District (33.8 sqkm), followed by Mullaitivu (27.7 sqkm), Kilinochchi (23 sqkm), Vavuniya (15 sqkm) and Jaffna (5 sqkm) in the north.

Smaller areas are in borderline districts of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, along with some parts of the east.

Barrier to return

More than 6,700 conflict-displaced, mainly from Mullaitivu District, continue to live at Menik Farm outside the town of Vavuniya, where more than 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) once lived following the end of the war between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which had been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland since 1983.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), since 1 January 2009, more than 554 sqkm have been cleared of mines and UXO (unexploded ordnance) in the north and east of the country.

The humanitarian demining unit of the Sri Lanka Army, international organizations – Danish Demining Group (DDG), HALO Trust, Horizon, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Sarvatra, and Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD)] – and two national organizations – Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH) and the Milinda Moragoda Institute for Peoples’ Empowerment (MMIPE)] – are engaged in demining work.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) carries out mine risk awareness programmes in the north and east.

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February 6, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Humanitarian Assistance, Landmines, Mine Clearance, Sri Lanka, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rs 140 m Japanese grant for North

Daily News Sri Lanka National Newspaper

The Japanese Government provided of US$ 876,121 (approximately Rs. 98 million) grant aid for two reconstruction and a demining projects in the North through Sarvodaya, Sewalanka Foundation, and The HALO Trust to meet the emergency needs of the area and to promote peace and development of Sri Lanka under its Grant Assistance for Grass roots Human Security Projects (GGP).

The first project is the Project for Ensuring the Long Term Food Security of Resettled Communities in the Northern Province, which will be implemented by Sarvodaya. US$ 143,004 is allocated to rehabilitate 60 agricultural wells and three irrigation channels and to construct 30 agricultural wells in Oddusudan, Maritimepattu DS divisions in Mullaitivu District and Kandavalai DS division in Kilinochchi District.

More than 2,500 families will be benefitted from the project by enhancing water access, improving farming and empowering self sustainability.

The second is the Project for Supporting the Initial Socio-Economic Needs of Resettled Communities in the Northern Province, which will be implemented by Sewalanka Foundation.

This integrated project will support livelihood activities of resettled communities by providing agricultural and fishery equipment, constructing and rehabilitating five community centers and 55 wells in Maritimepattu and Oddusudan in Mullaitivu and Vavuniya North. US$ 203,117 has been allocated to the project which is expected to benefit more than 2,500 families.

The third project will be implemented by the HALO Trust to demine and to facilitate a safety environment in Jaffna and Kilinochchi Districts. US$ 530,000 is allocated for the project and it will contribute to resettlement of more than 20,000 people. Japan has been continuously assisting demining projects in Sri Lanka since 2003 to accelerate early resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and improve lives of resettled communities and has provided a total amount of US$ 21 million (approximately Rs. 2,350 million) to-date.

The Grant Contracts between Japanese Ambassador Kunio Takahashi, and organization representatives were signed November 17, 2010 at the Embassy of Japan in Colombo. Besides these three projects, the Japanese Government also extended grant aid on November 11 for another demining project in the North. This demining project is implemented by DASH, a local demining organization, and US$ 373,200 is allocated to demine and to facilitate safety environment for more than 5,000 people in Kilinochchi district. Sixty deminers would be employed from the local community and the project will also simultaneously contribute to providing employment opportunities to the residents in the area. In total, Japan has extended US$ 1.25 million for these four projects in the North only in this year

November 18, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Demining, NGO's, Sri Lanka | , , , , , | Leave a comment