Friday 7th September
UK aid will protect more than 820,000 people from threat of lethal landmines
Pioneering technology will help eliminate landmines across Africa and Asia helping the world’s most vulnerable communities access safe land.
New UK aid funded technology, including radar detectors, will help trace ammunition in the equivalent of more than 16,000 football pitches. Remote controlled machines, such as the Mine Wolf, will also help clear cluster bombs more rapidly.
Manufactured in Newcastle, the eight-tonne Mine Wolf is a remote-controlled mine-clearing machine used in high risk areas. It can clear up to 12,000 square metres a day.
Our support will also help train all-female demining teams, often in areas where many of the men have died in conflict. Hundreds of women from impoverished communities are being empowered through skills training in landmine clearance, vehicle mechanics and paramedic first aid to protect their communities.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:
“The crippling legacy of fear, mutilation and devastation, which landmines leave, must be wiped out for good.
“UK expertise and innovation are helping to shield vulnerable people from these barbaric relics and liberating land contaminated by these devices. This will allow the poorest people to grow crops, walk their children to school without fear and ultimately give them back control over their lives.
This demining work will protect more than 820,000 people from the threat of barbaric relics across war-ravaged communities in Asia and Africa.
Working in partnership with local authorities, governments and through world-class UK organisations such as The HALO Trust and Mines Advisory Group (MAG), our support will train local men and women to identify and remove these deadly objects. These projects will boost local employment, recruiting men and women from communities where alternative job opportunities are severely limited.
UK support will also help educate a further 280,000 men, women and children about the dangers of landmines, an essential lifeline to safeguard entire communities from mutilation or death.
This latest support is part of a UK commitment made at an event with HRH Prince Harry in April 2017 of £100 million support to make 150 square kilometres of land safe again over a three year period, benefiting at least 800,000 people.
This latest partnership with The HALO Trust, MAG, Norwegian People’s Aid and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining is part of the £100 million commitment made last year and will support demining efforts across nine countries including;
Land release – over 4,000,000 metres squared (4,126,544)
Beneficiaries of mine risk education – over 31,000 (31,506)
· Land release will be conducted in Somaliland (72%) and south-central Somalia (28%). This project will therefore contribute towards the completion of clearance of all known mined areas in Somaliland, while also continuing the development of mine action and land release activities in south-central Somalia, which took place under the former GMAP, building upon the progress made to establish a viable mine action sector in the south.
· Over twenty years after Princess Diana’s iconic walk through a landmine littered field, Angola still remains one of the most heavily contaminated countries in the world. Towns remain isolated due to mine threats and people are unable to return to their homes or farm land. UK support will enable communities to build houses on safe land, provide safe passage to schools and allow land to be used productively for farming.
· Laos remains plagued by high levels of unexploded ordnance and has some of the highest landmine casualty rates in the world. More than 40 years since the Vietnam conflict ended, contamination prevents communities from fully utilising their land which they depend upon to feed their children and earn a living. UK support will help make land safe for cultivation and hand back control to these often marginalized communities.
· South Sudan’s crippling civil conflict has led to widespread contamination, with mines and brutal cluster bombs, blocking access to fertile land that many rely on to make a living. UK support will help ensure all hazardous areas in Terekeka State will be cleared of mines by the end of 2020. If successful it will be the first state to achieve this status. Thanks to UK taxpayers’ contributions, land will be returned to impoverished local communities allowing them to farm again and feed their families.