Transforming one of the world's largest minefields

Villagers in Oddar Meanchey Province, North West Cambodia were living in one of the world’s largest minefields, until HALO started clearing the land, metre by metre.

Francis Huot, Charge d’Affaires at the Office of The Embassy of Canada in Cambodia, visited recently and witnessed the transformative effect of HALO’s mine clearance on this remote village where we have cleared over 200 landmines - some within just four metres of houses. HALO teams will clear a further three minefields from this new community in 2016.

Our clearance has saved hundreds of lives and given local people the confidence to use land safely for farming and recreation. This volleyball pitch is a good example. Francis Huot is pictured far left on the pitch!

When Francis was with us we visited K5 minefields on the border with Thailand where new communities are springing up along the new road, which is being constructed adjacent to the previously remote K5. HALO’s 1,000 deminers across the west and north of Cambodia are working to clear land and access routes in anticipation of internal migration that is expected to see families from across Cambodia moving close to the 1,000km minefield.

Francis Huot remotely detonates a mine in Bantaey Meanchey Province. To date HALO has cleared over 2,000 mines from within 400m of the expanding community. Previously five people have been killed or injured within 300m of the spot Francis is kneeling – the community can now begin to live and farm in safety.

HALO’s Provincial Manager Nhim Rina (Nil) discusses the current clearance plan and future demining team deployments with Francis.

Our thanks go to Canada for funding HALO’s mine clearance teams in Cambodia 2014 – 2015