Deminers are the backbone of most clearance programmes. Highly trained specialists, they combine technical skills and local knowledge to clear valuable land of mines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW).
Manual deminers are equipped with electronic detectors to help find mines. These detectors locate even the smallest metal components in landmines and each piece of metal must then be carefully excavated to determine whether it poses any danger. This is detailed and painstaking work, and a deminer may clear between 10-50 square metres a day.
The range of equipment and procedures used by our deminers across the world reflects the variety of threats they face and the different types of terrain in which they have to work. Anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines and cluster munitions may be found in fields, mountains, river-beds, deserts, beaches, jungle or savannah.
Since people can work in ground conditions where it would be impossible to take machines, manual demining is often the most versatile and flexible approach to mineclearance. Many HALO clearance areas have dozens of teams and hundreds of deminers, all working together to get landmines out of the ground for good.
To support clearance in areas with high levels of metal in the ground we have pioneered the use of ground-penetrating radar to help our deminers tell the difference between metal rubbish and actual landmines.