UK aid will teach women to clear landmines

7 Sep 18

Innovative UK-funded technology including radars and remote-controlled machines will help rid Africa and Asia of landmines and protect more than 820,000 people.

The technology made in Newcastle can clear up to 12,000 square metres a day to give communities access to safe land, says the Department for International Development.

The move forms part of a commitment made by the UK earlier this year to give countries in Africa and Asia £3m to tackle the threat posed by landmines, which kill one person every hour.

The British government department said it will support the training of all-female demining teams, in areas where many of the men have died in conflict.

The women will be trained in landmine clearance, vehicle mechanics and paramedic first aid to protect their communities.

Penny Mordaunt, international development secretary, said: “UK expertise and innovation are helping to shield vulnerable people from these barbaric relics and liberating land contaminated by these devices.

“This will allow the poorest people to grow crops, walk their children to school without fear and ultimately give them back control over their lives.”

Additionally, a further 280,000 women, women and children will be educated about the dangers of landmines.

Jane Cocking, chief executive of the Mines Advisory Group, a DfID project partner, said deaths and injuries from landmines globally have hit a 10-year high.

“These new funds will help us to rid some of the world’s most conflict-affected countries of landmines, cluster munitions and other unexploded weapons at a crucial time, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”

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