Manual demining forms the backbone of our humanitarian mine clearance work because it is highly effective and, by providing jobs for local people, it ensures we have a wider impact that goes beyond making land and communities safe.
We use mechanical clearance where the nature of the terrain and debris we are clearing calls for heavy machinery or new technology.
Our deminers, drawn from the communities we serve, are at the heart of what we do. Their local knowledge, technical expertise and dedication to ridding their country of mines and other explosive remnants of war ensures that we hand over land with the utmost confidence that it is free of all known landmines.
By providing local people with a living wage, HALO is also contributing to stimulating local micro-economies and helping people get back on their feet after the upheaval of conflict.
Joao Muti, one of our deminers in Angola explains:
Working for HALO has improved my life. I can support my wife and children and help clear the land around this village so my children can grow up in safety.
Recruitment and training
HALO demining teams include both men and women. No formal qualifications or experience are needed and all new recruits undergo a three-week training course before they encounter their first minefield.
Deminers can progress up a structured route towards team leader and then on to supervisor with responsibility for more than one minefield.
Martha Quintero from our team in Colombia explains:
HALO has been the best thing that has happened to me. It’s taught me so much. I know how to use a detector, I know how to cannulate someone in an emergency. Before, I wouldn’t go near a minefield. But now, when we hear about one, we go and get the mines out.