WHAT IS DIGGER ?
The Digger Foundation is a not-for-profit organization recognized as a public utility in Switzerland. It is based in Tavannes, in the Bernese Jura. The organization, active in the demining world since 1998 with experience in more than 13 countries, promotes technical assistance projects in the field of humanitarian mine clearance. Operating under the name of DIGGER DTR, it develops, implements and markets mine clearance machines (demonstrating Swiss industrial and technological expertise) to assist mine clearers and significantly increase the efficiency of their work which is also made less dangerous and expensive as a result.
The reason why we have chosen to be a foundation is that we come to the aid of clients who need our help but do not have the money. Being recognised as a public utility foundation enables us to approach international funding bodies (humanitarian aid from the Swiss confederation, cantons or towns). We are regularly approached by national authorities which urgently need our assistance to clear mines on their land. We carry out complete projects with them thanks to our experience on the ground. We present these projects to potential financial backers. On several occasions, mine clearing operations have been successfully carried out in Chad, Senegal, Mozambique, Benin and Bosnia, for example. The campaigns have been made possible thanks to the Digger philosophy.
A WEAPON AGAINST LANDMINES
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 postmachinery 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.