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Our teams in the field sometimes work in extreme conditions, with snow and high temperatures causing great difficulty for deminers. (Ukraine, 2021)

Our teams in the field sometimes work in extreme conditions, with snow and high temperatures causing great difficulty for deminers. (Ukraine, 2021).

News from the field

Our action in Ukraine – From March 28 to April 10, 2022

Our action in Ukraine – From March 28 to April 10, 2022

March 28 to April 10, 2022 For weeks Valeriia, one of our paramedics, and other team members from Mariupol (Марі у́поль) were unable to communicate, due to the lack of connection and electricity. They were able to escape and tell us now about their stories:Valeriia...

International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

Together against mines and explosive remnants of war Every year, thousands of civilians are killed or maimed by mines or unexploded ordnance. A single step or contact with these devices is enough to trigger a deadly explosion. More than 60 countries are currently...

Our latest interventions in Ukraine – 21-27 March

Our latest interventions in Ukraine – 21-27 March

Natalia tells her story to FSD staff. “We are from Sieverodonetsk (Сєвєродоне́цьк). We were forced to leave our hometown as the war started on the 24th of February”. The whole town was under fire. For two weeks we were hiding in a bomb shelter, because our apartment...

Our latest interventions in Ukraine – 14-20. March

Our latest interventions in Ukraine – 14-20. March

20 March 2022 While in many European countries it’s the beginning of Spring, the weather in Ukraine remains severe with strong winds and temperatures below zero. Yulia Katelik (on the right) helps people equip basements in highly populated areas. She found a place to...

Our latest interventions in Ukraine – 7-13. March

Our latest interventions in Ukraine – 7-13. March

12-13 March 2022 FSD supports volunteers, who transport women and children to the Polish border with a fleet of vans/mini-busses. The Ukrainians who use this service usually can’t afford bus or train tickets. FSD covers up for fuel costs of these vehicles. Some...

Machine gun ammunition at the waste dump

Machine gun ammunition at the waste dump

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...

Pastor and risk education volunteer

Pastor and risk education volunteer

" 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...

“We all found at least one old horseshoe”

“We all found at least one old horseshoe”

In Ukraine, around 20 FSD deminers are currently working in the Donbass region, where an armed conflict has been going on since 2014. Roman, Stanislav and Igor are part of the team deployed in Stara Mykolaivka. A few years ago, this locality used to be a Ukrainian...

Deminer’s anecdotes

Deminer’s anecdotes

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...

What does an improvised mine look like?

What does an improvised mine look like?

Each year, thousands of civilians lose their lives and are injured during explosions from various weapons and ammunition: bombs, rockets, mines, etc. Involved in almost half of the cases in 2020 are “improvised explosive devices”, tinkered with everyday objects and...

Can drones be used for demining?

Can drones be used for demining?

In the past 10 years, drone technology has developed dramatically and their use has widened. From ambulance drones, to window cleaning drones and sushi delivering-drones, these flying robots seem to be able to do almost anything. Could drones even replace deminers in...

Deminers answer Jack and Valentine’s questions

Deminers answer Jack and Valentine’s questions

Some time ago, FSD was invited to a class at the Florimont Institute in Geneva to talk to students about humanitarian demining. The children, aged between ten to eleven, were very attentive to the presentation of FSD’s director, Hansjörg Eberle. After the...

Demining: women make their mark

Demining: women make their mark

Humanitarian demining has long been seen as a rather masculine field. Today, mentalities have changed and many organizations have mixed or all-female teams. FSD trained its first female deminers 15 years ago in Sri Lanka, and recently established a demining team...

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Lands poisoned by obsolete pesticides

Lands poisoned by obsolete pesticides

Old stocks of pesticides have leached into soils and rivers and threaten the health of Tajiks. FSD has made good progress in clearing the polluted land from the village of Oykamar, one of the most contaminated locations. An awareness campaign was also carried out...

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The challenges of winter demining

The challenges of winter demining

In some of the countries where FSD operates, climatic conditions fluctuate between extremes. The dry and scorching summers are followed by harsh winters where snow and rain fall in abundance. These variations not only greatly affect the daily lives of the inhabitants...

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Preventing accidents through social media

Preventing accidents through social media

In order to raise awareness on the risks of explosive devices among affected populations, mine action organizations traditionally make “live” presentations. Today, digital means, and in particular social networks, make it possible to reach more people and thus promote...

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Infrastructure for peace in Bangui and Bouar

Infrastructure for peace in Bangui and Bouar

In a post conflict environment, humanitarian organisations help to provide vital services and protection to a countries' population; this then transitions to longer term development activities. But the transition can take time. FSD's unique experience operating across...

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Our deminers are back in the mine fields

Our deminers are back in the mine fields

In August, Iraqi government COVID-19 restrictions on NGOs began to lift and mine action organisations were allowed to start back to work with a 25% capacity. FSD mobilised two full teams in Kudila village, Makhmour District, Nineweh Province; this included refresher...

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Kindergartens bear the traces of war

Kindergartens bear the traces of war

An armed conflict has been raging in the Donbass region of Ukraine since 2014. Much of the infrastructure located along the frontline was destroyed or damaged by artillery and mortar fire, including dozens of schools and kindergartens. For the past 10 months, FSD...

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FSD helps the most vulnerable of Teusaquillo

FSD helps the most vulnerable of Teusaquillo

In Colombia, FSD continues to help OACP Descontamina Colombia, the national mine clearance authority, to develop and implement information management solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has made work more difficult, since now an extra layer of information is needed to...

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Mine clearance activities resumed in Darwaz-E Bala

Mine clearance activities resumed in Darwaz-E Bala

Since 2012, the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) has been hard at work in Afghanistan clearing priority minefields, clearing mines from combat areas and conducting non-technical investigations into suspected minefields. Darwaz-e Bala, a remote region in...

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FSD mobilizes to slow the spread of the virus

FSD mobilizes to slow the spread of the virus

The situation with regard to the COVID-19 epidemic differs from country to country in the regions in which we operate. With this in mind we have taken the decision to refocus and adapt our work to the current crisis in the Central African Republic in order to support...

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School rehabilitation continues despite the crisis

School rehabilitation continues despite the crisis

Ukraine has been in quarantine since 12th March. The COVID-19 crisis has added extra pressure to the already limited economy in the east of the country, which has been enduring armed conflict for over six years. This has caused a collapse of basic services in a number...

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Mine clearance, key to the resumption of agriculture

Mine clearance, key to the resumption of agriculture

For the past four years, FSD has worked at clearing mines from areas recently liberated from ISIS in central and northern Iraq. Most of the beneficiaries targeted by the program base their entire income on agricultural activities, which have stopped due to the ISIS...

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The scourge of obsolete pesticides in Oykamar

The scourge of obsolete pesticides in Oykamar

FSD has been active in Central Asia since 2003, especially in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. We have undertaken a range of activities, including mine clearance, destruction of weapons and ammunition stockpiles and environmental impact studies to assess levels...

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The forgotten children of Darwaz

The forgotten children of Darwaz

Throughout its time in Afghanistan, FSD’s aim has been to identify and eliminate the risks posed by explosive contamination which affects surrounding communities; and ultimately to contribute to more prosperous economic and social develop- ment in the cross-border...

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The daily life of a deminer

The daily life of a deminer

Mine clearance is certainly not a trivial business. But that doesn't mean it is a daredevil job. Each step of the work is carefully planned, carried out and recorded using tried and tested routines. As a zero risk environment does not exist, risk must be minimized,...

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Bees to the rescue of a mine victim

Bees to the rescue of a mine victim

The isolated province of Badakhshan, located in the far north-east of Afghanistan, is still littered with anti-personnel mines left by Soviet troops before their withdrawal from the country in 1989. That is where we met Rahmi Ali, who lost his leg in an explosion 25...

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How to become a deminer

How to become a deminer

At FSD Iraq, nearly nine out of 10 employees are recruited and trained locally. Most knew nothing about mine clearance and had a whole different life prior to joining our teams. Some were teachers, farmers or housewives. Before finding themselves in the middle of a...

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The challenges of demining in the jungle

The challenges of demining in the jungle

Colombia, an earthly paradise of biodiversity, has been affected for more than five decades by an armed conflict which left behind numerous anti-personnel mines and other explosive devices. Today, demining the territory is hampered by certain obstacles and requires...

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