The term “mine action” does not refer to mine clearance only. It brings together all the activities aimed at reducing the impact of explosive devices found on a territory.
for the day’s operations.
Every year, children are killed or maimed
by remnants of explosive devices from past wars.
These devices include anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines, which have been knowingly laid by parties to a conflict, but also all ammunition that has not exploded as intended.
The “failure rate” can reach 40% and unexploded ordnance remains a threat after the fighting is over, sometimes even decades later.
Another source of danger for civilians are stocks of arms and ammunition, which can cause accidental explosions. They can also be looted and used in the manufacture of artisanal mines.
Demining does not only include the neutralization and disposal of explosive devices, but also preliminary investigations aimed at determining the location of contaminated areas, as well as the mapping and marking that accompany them.
To date, FSD deminers have identified and destroyed nearly 1.4 million mines and unexploded ordnance. An area equivalent to more than four times the city of Paris has been secured.
Many countries retain large quantities of old weapons and ammunition, which are often stored in inadequate conditions. Chemical reactions between the components can give rise to spontaneous ignitions, dangerous for the surrounding populations and harmful for the environment.
FSD has already destroyed 117 tons of obsolete weapons and ammunition.
Mine clearance is a long and arduous job. Until the land is secure, the best way to prevent accidents is to educate people living near contaminated areas.
Through FSD presentations in villages and schools, nearly 2.5 million people, most of them children, have so far learned to spot mines and unexploded ordnance and know what to do to stay safe in the face of this danger.
Every year, several thousand civilians are injured or maimed by mines and explosive remnants of war around the world.
Victim assistance is not limited to emergency care and medical treatment. It also includes measures to improve the social and economic situation of accident victims and their families.
The FSD intervenes more particularly on this secondary level, by means of personalized interventions.
Mine action programs are often implemented in a hurry, in countries still severely destabilized by the conflicts they have experienced. Coordination is then assumed by international NGOs or the United Nations.
The aim, however, is for the responsibility for mine action to fall to the governments of the countries concerned as soon as possible.
In this context, FSD is helping to strengthen the skills of the authorities to enable them to coordinate mine action on their territory in an efficient and autonomous manner.
News from the field
Each day, they deploy their courage and expertise to make the world a safer place. Read the testimonials and stories from our employees around the world.
In eastern Ukraine, the poverty caused by the armed conflict has led many people to collect and sell scrap metal to earn a little more money. This is a risky activity, which exposes them to landmines and unexploded ordnance. One day someone brought me an old bucket...
Some time ago, FSD was invited to visit a sixth-grade class at the Florimont Institute in Geneva to talk to students about humanitarian demining. After the presentation, the children asked questions which were recorded and passed on to our deminers in the field. This...
" I take advantage of my sermons to talk about unexploded ordnance " Joselito Remedios, 54, is a pastor and an explosive ordnance risk education provider. For the past year, he has been a member of the Fondation suisse de déminage (FSD)’s volunteer team in the...
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