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.

Please see the original and read more of this article here

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

1 de-miner killed 2 injured in Kapisa missile attack

Khaama Press November 23, 2011

According to governmental authorities in northern Afghanistan, at least three de-miners of a mine clearance organization were killed and injured in militants attack in north-eastern Kapisa province.

The officials further added, the incident took place after militants targeted the deminers in Kohaband district of north-eastern Kapisa province late Tuesday night.

Afghan security officials in Kapisa province confirming the incident said, at least one de-miner of a mine clearance organization was killed and two others were injured after they were targeted by militants in the area around 11:oo pm local time on Tuesday night.

The source further added, militants used missiles to target the de-miners office from the south-eastern region of Kohband district.

In the meantime, Kohband police chief Mohammad Anwar confirming the report said, at least one de-miner working Halo Trust demining company was killed and no one else was injured

Please read the original article here

November 23, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, NGO's | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Landmine deaths triple in Angola

Luanda – AFP- The number of people killed by landmines in Angola in 2010 almost tripled as funding for demining activities plummeted in the world’s third most mined country, the HALO Trust said on Thursday.

“Funding has declined by 50% since 2008. There were 80 victims of mining accidents in 2010, compared to 28 in 2009,” said Jose Pedro Agostinho, assistant director of the British non-profit organisation.

The HALO Trust has been operating in the five worst-mined Angolan provinces since the end of the near three-decade civil war that ended in 2002.

Financial difficulties have resulted in the closure of its operations in the southern district of Benguela, while 667 minefields still need to be swept

Since the end of the war, the oil-rich country has embarked on a process of rebuilding infrastructure, and entrenching its position as Africa’s top oil producer.

“The more they reopen the roads, the more people have access to remote areas,” said Agostinho, suggesting the public was more likely to end up in mined locations.

“And then there are the refugees who come back from neighbouring countries and they are not aware of the danger zones,” he added.

Please see the original here

The exact number of landmines laid during the war is not known, in a country that is the most mined in the world after Afghanistan and Cambodia.

December 9, 2010 Posted by | Africa, Demining | , , | 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

6 Jaffna Halo Trust deminers injured in accident

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 May 2010, 16:25 GMT]

A vehicle transporting deminers of Halo Trust, a humanitarian organization, on its way to Halo Trust office in Jaffna from Ki’linochchi met with an accident Friday injuring six women deminers, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, a male deminer engaged in demining in Mirusuvil in Thenmaraadchchi was seriously injured when a landmine went off unexpectedly, the sources added.

The six injured women, ranging between 18 to 30 years of age, were returning to Jaffna after completing an assignment at Skanthapuram in Ki’linochchi.

They were first admitted to Ki’linochchi government hospital and later transferred to Jaffna Teaching Hospital for further treatment.

The seriously injured deminer is T. Aingaran, 20, a resident of Thirunelveali in Jaffna. He too is admitted in Jaffna Teaching Hospital.

May 14, 2010 Posted by | Demining | , , , | Leave a comment