Issue 4.2 | June 2000
To ensure its deminers operate at maximum efficiency and skill, GERBERA provides its deminers with computer aided data acquisition and evaluation equipment for land and water mine detection and removal. While some mine clearance organizations are limited to land work, GERBERA distinguishes itself as an organization capable of both land and water mine retrieval.
GERBERA emphasizes the need to increase mine awareness programs tailored to the children and parents inhabiting mine-affected areas, as education is a primary means of preventing future casualties. The organization has offered classes in many of its project countries in an attempt to generate mine awareness knowledge among the most severely affected populations.
Mine Clearance Projects
In 1996 and 1997, GERBERA’s projects took its deminers to Angola where demining specialists performed quality assurance tests on approximately 4,800km of primary roadways. During a U.N. Peacekeeping Mission in Angola (UNAVEM-III), GERBERA experts worked as regional mines officers and supervisors for the Angolan Demining Brigades and as U.N. Quality Controllers for the demining and UXO clearance efforts.
Deminers for GERBERA endure strenuous, tedious work. Often, they confront UXO dating from resolved wars. In Laos, deminers located a variety of UXO, some of which was dated as far back as the 1940s. Consequently, GERBERA supplies its deminers with advanced technology to succeed in their mine clearance and awareness missions.
In addition to mine clearance efforts, GERBERA also trains local deminers to continue demining efforts. In Vietnam, GERBERA instructed locals to search and clear mine-affected areas to quicken the resettlement of two villages.
GERBERA stresses the value of innovative technology in demining efforts. In an attempt to restore the national infrastructure in Croatia, GERBERA deminers combined machinery, manual demining techniques and mine detecting dogs to clear heavily mined areas. GERBERA also utilizes computer software to assist in underwater detection. In addition to detection, the software is also able to measure the extent of pollution and the related dangers prior to GERBERA’s initial demining efforts.