Female deminer Winai Ndaradzi in Zimbabwe. Picture: HALO
London, September 24, 2018 (AltAfrica)-The United Kingdom is to deploy its new aid funded technology to protect more than 820,000 people from threat of lethal landmines across conflict areas in Africa and Asia
The technology, including radar detectors, will help trace ammunition in the equivalent of more than 16,000 football pitches, helping the world’s most vulnerable communities access safe lands
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.
UK’s International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said “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”
According to her, 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”
Chief Executive of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) Jane Cocking is concerned that global deaths and injuries from landmines have hit a ten-year high, adding that today, one person every hour is killed or injured by a landmine and almost half are children.
Jane Cocking said “these new funds will help us to rid some of the world’s most conflict-affected countries of landmines, cluster munitions and other unexploded weapons at a crucial time, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
“As well as saving lives, this support will ensure vast areas of land can be returned to communities, improving lives and ensuring safe access to housing, education and medical facilities.”
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.
The 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;