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Digger and the mine clearance

Mine victims

Mozambique

Mozambique

Mozambique

Mozambique

Chad

Education

A school is to be built on a mined area. Construction work started before the mine clearance. Due to the hardness of the soil during the dry season, some mines in the ground are inoperative. As soon as the rainy season is back, the mines reactivate. To prevent accidents, emergency mine clearance has started on this site.

Gentien Piaget, Digger, Angola

Food

My accident happened when we lived there. I wanted to collect fruits in the forest, I stepped on a landmine and I lost my leg.

Stephane Malak, reported by IRIN, Senegal

Economy

ADRA is seeking to start growing oranges and mangoes. A small plant is planned to extract juice from these fruits. The only obstacle for starting the project is the presence of mines on the site of its future plant.

Gentien Piaget, Digger, Angola

Children

A 13-year-old boy was killed and five other boys were injured in Luang Prabang province […]. The cluster bomb, or bombie, may have looked like a petanque ball but in fact it contained a deadly explosive designed to main or kill.

Reported by Vientiane Times, Lao PDR

The landmines situation in the world

Mines near a village, Bosnia

Village rendered inaccessible

Minefield behind a school

Anti-tank mines are also a threat to civilians

Mines and other explosive remnants of war

Mines near a village

Mines near a village

Found mines

Only usable path

Across the world, the people of more than 70 countries are affected by the scourge of landmines every single day. The number of direct victims who have been killed or maimed is estimated to be between 5,000 and 10,000, i.e. the equivalent of 4 to 5 entire villages wiped out every year!

The number of indirect victims is more difficult to estimate but adds up to millions: people who have been displaced, isolated or deprived of any means of supporting themselves.

This short television program explains how and why the number of victims from mines and explosive traps are still rising to this day :

Video

Manual mine-clearance

Manual demining (1) with metal detector (2) with probe (3) excavating

Methods of humanitarian mine clearing have not changed much over the decades due to a lack of profitability and visibility. As always, the core of the work is still based on the commitment of the men and women who clear the mines manually using a stick and secateurs. Progress is slow and dangerous.
In this context, developing affordable forms of mechanical assistance is of the utmost importance. These machines are valuable tools in minimising the risk and vastly reducing the time taken to complete these operations.
Contrary to popular belief, the use of a mine clearance machine brings about a substantial reduction in the cost of each m² of mine clearance

A weapon against landmines

Tavannes

Mozambique

Chad

Explosion testing

Bosnia

Mozambique

Senegal

Senegal

Tavannes production plant

The response proposed by Digger to tackle the problem of landmines takes the form of an armoured blast-resistant vehicle which is light enough to be transported in areas where communication channels are a far cry from western standards.

In order to guarantee the complete safety of the operator, who remains at a good distance from the danger zone, the vehicle is remote controlled. It is fitted with a device which clears the densest vegetation and tills the soil down to a depth of 25 cm. This operation makes the mines safe by preparing the terrain for post-machinery inspection in the best possible conditions. This last stage enables the area to be declared safe in accordance with the stringent humanitarian mine clearing standards in force.

Twenty years of convincing results

Mozambique

Impact of D-3 on performance in Senegal (source CNAMS)

With experience in more than 10 African countries and in the Balkans, the figures speak for themselves: a machine with a team of 10 people (mine clearers, mechanics, drivers, cooks and medical personnel) can achieve the same results as a team of 200 to 300 manual mine clearers and their managers.

Since a manual mine clearer is paid $ 250 per month on average, this means an annual mine clearing cost in excess of $ 750,000!

In reality, despite the substantial initial outlay, the machine causes a significant fall in the cost of mine clearing per m².

By way of example, after 18 months of using a DIGGER D-3, Handicap International in Senegal saw the price of mine clearing per m² fall 10-fold. Not to mention the bonus of zero risk for the mine clearers!