HALO Trust's Sri Lankan deminers clear 100,000th mine

Deminers working for the HALO Trust in Sri Lanka found their 100,000th anti-personnel mine on 20th August as efforts continue to ensure the safe resettlement and reconstruction of the country’s north.

The HALO Trust began working in Sri Lanka in 2002 and expanded its operations significantly following the end of the war in 2009 to clear mines from homes, gardens and fields as those displaced by the fighting began to return home.

This milestone is a testament to the dedication of more than 2,200 local people who have at some time worked for HALO in Sri Lanka over the past nine years, and to the 1,000 staff currently employed in Kilinochchi and Jaffna Districts, including 700 recently-returned IDPs.

More than four million square metres of mined land have been painstakingly cleared by HALO deminers over the past nine years, including school playgrounds, medical facilities, paddy fields, roads, houses and gardens, temples and fishing jetties. On average, deminers have found one mine for every 40 square metres cleared.

HALO ‘s work in Sri Lanka is currently funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Norway, Japan, Australia, Canada and the European Commission (ECHO).

Over the past decade, HALO Sri Lanka has also received contributions from the governments of Finland, the Netherlands and Switzerland, as well as the following private institutions: Humpty Dumpty Institute, Julia Burke Foundation, One Sri Lanka Foundation, People to People International, Actiefonds Mijnen Ruimen, Cooperative Bank, International Foundation, Select Equity, Clothworkers Foundation and California Community Foundation.