June 1999 AUSTCARE funded a unique mine awareness project
providing radios to remote communities to enable listeners in
mine-affected regions of Afghanistan to hear broadcasts of
mine-awareness-education programs. These broadcasts are
targeted at young listeners, who are frequently injured while
playing in unmarked mine fields.
with HI, AUSTCARE began providing physical and social
rehabilitation to landmine victims in Angola’s Benguela
province in 1997. AUSTCARE incorporated members of the Angolan
community into the project by training Angolan technicians to
make prosthetics for victims.
Cambodian deminer at Khomphong Thom.
2001, the rehabilitation project continues with technicians
producing approximately 800 prosthetic feet each month. The
prosthetic feet are designed specifically for landmine victims in
the Angolan population. The feet are able to withstand the country’s
rigid terrain and feature customized coloring to match the patient’s
1998 AUSTCARE partnered with Norwegian People’s Aid to clear
Bosnia’s mine fields with the help of mine detection dog (MDD)
teams. This ongoing project involves training nine existing MDDs and
two new MDDs to clear 4,500 sq. m of land. With this level of
productivity, AUSTCARE hopes to significantly reduce the threat of
landmines/UXO in Bosnia.
Peng Village’s Kulen Mountains, AUSTCARE now manages a project
initially started by the Australian government’s
Destroy-A-Minefield program. The project has been divided into two
phases. Phase One, which began in January 2000, cleared 54,000 sq. m
of land in six months. AUSTCARE anticipates that Phase Two, which
began in July 2000, will allow approximately 89 families to resettle
in their respective communities.
manual deminer removes an uncovered
mine in a Ta Peng minefield, Kulen Mountain, Siem Reap.
fragment pit at a minefield in Khomphong Thom, Cambodia.
with HALO, AUSTCARE has also undertaken a mine clearance project in
O’Preal Village in the Samrong District of Siem Reap. In June 2000
the partner organizations started Phase One of a mine clearance
project that is estimated to eventually clear 100,000 sq. m of land.
Phase Two will allow villagers to utilize another 150,000 sq. m of
inaccessible land. Villagers involved in the clearance project
"prioritize the areas for clearing and determine the use of
cleared land," according to Balzer. In addition, villagers are
recruited to learn demining techniques for future use. This project
will be completed in two years.
1994 AUSTCARE has implemented mine clearance projects in Mozambique
using MDDs to locate mine fields. Recently, AUSTCARE began a
mine-clearance project in Inham-bane Province along with HI. This
project will survey 14 districts to pinpoint and record areas that
may contain landmines/UXO. After these areas are identified,
AUSTCARE and HI teams will also carry out demining operations in
humanitarian efforts and comprehensive approach to aiding people and
communities affected by the threat of landmines have led to the
implementation and success of 20 landmine-related projects. With
assistance from partner organizations, AUSTCARE enables refugees,
displaced persons and returnees to reenter their communities and
thrive without the presence of landmines or UXO.
photos courtesy of AUSTCARE
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