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New £7 million demining project launched

New £7 million demining project launched

Dec 12, 2016 - 18:45

KABUL (Pajhwok): British Ambassador Dominic Jermey and Afghan Natural Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) head Wais Barmak on Monday launched a further phase of the UK’s life-saving support to demining in Afghanistan.

The £7 million project to be implemented by HALO TRUST is aimed at clearing over 9.6 million square metres of land from landmines in six provinces --- Logar, Khost, Samangan, Balkh, Baghlan and Kabul.  

The British Embassy in a statement said not only will the project clear the land from brutal mines and dangerous explosive remnants of war, but it will also provide development assistance to ensure that over 100,000 people could swiftly return to their newly-cleared lands for cultivation and production.

Through assistance with irrigation, infrastructure and agricultural techniques, local communities would once again be free of the dangers of mines and could prosper from the use of their community lands, the statement said. 

This project demonstrates just one part of the UK’s long-term and determined commitment to help the Afghan government make Afghanistan free of the scourge of mines by 2023. Since 2008, the UK has helped clear land in Herat, Helmand and Kandahar.

Jermey said he was extremely proud that they were launching a programme with the Afghan government and the HALO Trust to clear 9.6 million square metres of land in Afghanistan.

“This project is in addition to over 84 million square metres of land which UK support has already helped clear.”

He said  the new programme would not just rid the land of the scourge of past conflicts and remove horrific harm to innocent children, women and men but the development assistance would help over 100 000 Afghans once again prosper from cultivation and development of their fields.

Barmak said ensuring that the Afghan land was safe from remnants of war was an absolute priority for the Afghan Government.

“All Afghan people are extremely heartened to see this ongoing commitment from the United Kingdom to support mine clearance, risk education and development of the cleared land, in our rural communities.”

“The impact it will have, not just in keeping our children free from harm, but also in increasing agricultural production and livelihoods, is enormous.”