Naphadang Health Centre – using cost-effective innovative survey methods to transform communities
As a humanitarian clearance organisation, HALO is continually exploring ways to ensure that its unexploded ordnance clearance operations benefits communities as quickly and effectively as possible. Take the example of the Naphadang health centre.
HALO had been conducting non-technical and technical surveys in the Sepon and Vilabouly areas when our teams heard about plans to construct a health centre for the villagers. At the time, villagers were forced to travel for up to an hour along a seasonably unpassable road to reach the nearest medical facilities. A health centre in the village itself would bring obvious benefits to its community and the surrounding villages, bringing health care to around 1000 people.
However, usually a construction project of this scale would carry a legal requirement for full Battle Area Clearance before building could begin. This would consist of clearing the entire 3,258m2 project area, an operation which would take up to two weeks at significant cost.
But thanks to HALO’s innovative technical survey process, the teams were able to assess that only 36%, or 1,200m2 of the land actually required clearance. The majority of the land, 2,058m2 was assessed through a combination of non-technical and technical survey and determined to not require clearance. HALO prioritised the remaining area and deployed clearance assets in late 2014. Clearance for the area required for development ultimately required just three days, representing a cost efficiency saving of 63%. A handover ceremony was held in January 2015, and the villagers have already begun construction of the site.
While BAC teams were able to clear the entire CHA polygon, only a small portion of the proposed development polygon required clearance. The rest of the land was assessed through HALO's land release classification system, and handed over to the village and district authorities to enable construction of the Health Centre.