Mine clearance | Project duration: since 2019

Civil war raged in Sri Lanka for 16 years from 1983 to 2009. Around 100,000 people lost their lives. Both warring parties – the governmental troops and the LTTE, the Tamil military organisation – mined huge swathes of land and left behind countless remnants of war. Mine-clearing activities began in 2002 while fighting was still ongoing, but a part of the demined areas were later recontaminated. Sri Lanka ratified both the Ottawa Treaty and the Oslo Treaty in 2018. 

The project

This is the first project in Sri Lanka for World Without Mines. We will finance a 28-strong demining team from the local organisation Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH) for a period of one year. The team members belong to various ethnic groups, often come from destitute backgrounds and are able to achieve economic independence through their work. Demining activities promote mutual understanding and contribute towards reconciliation and sustainable peace in the country.

In order to examine a site for mines and explosive remnants of war, the vegetation often has to be removed in time-consuming work.
This rake method was developed in Sri Lanka and is recognised as a mine detection method in the national demining standards.
A deminer on his work to scour the ground with a mine detector centimetre by centimetre in Kalyanapura as part of a "technical survey".
This mine must be carefully uncovered and excavated by hand. This requires a lot of concentration and good education.

Case story: Finally a regular income!

Kamaleshwari is actually married, but her husband has left her and their three children. Also, she has a hard time with her children. The oldest suffers from Down syndrome and the youngest had to leave school early due to a heart disease. The family couldn’t afford the costs of her surgery.

Kamaleshwari bravely decided to train as a deminer and thus generates a regular income to ease the financial situation. The daughter now receives the medical care she needs thanks to her mother's salary.

What we want to achieve

We are working to help Sri Lanka achieve its goal of freedom from mines as soon as possible. By supporting DASH, we are also providing jobs and therefore an income for people from destitute families that help build their self-confidence and benefit the whole family.

Results 2022

130 anti-personnel mines, 26 explosive remnants of war (ERW) and 800 other explosive remnants of war have been identified and eliminated.

45'387 square metres of land have been released for use.

Pictures: DASH


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