Gichd

In many countries, especially those in humid tropical zones, vegetation growing up over suspected mined areas is a significant problem as it prevents access by deminers and mine detection equipment. Clearance may be started several (or even many) years after the land was mined and in fertile agricultural areas this delay may allow time for colonisation by trees, tall bamboo, dense undergrowth and similar obstacles. Vegetation removal can take up a very significant amount of time - figures of up to 70% of the working day for typical deminers in Cambodia have been quoted. Manual vegetation removal has to be done carefully due to the risk of trip-wires and hidden mines, and all vegetation has typically to be removed piece by piece to allow access for metal detectors which must be operated very close to the soil surface.

A number of mechanical vegetation clearance methods are already in field use, typically small purpose-built remote-control armoured flails which are set to just avoid striking the ground, or commercial-off-the-shelf agricultural vegetation flails mounted on a hydraulic boom arm attached to a vehicle with a protected cab for the operator.

Please see also the information under Mechanically Assisted Demining.

Some clearance organisations have reported overall manual clearance rates can be several times faster when densely overgrown areas are first prepared by vegetation flails, compared to manual vegetation clearance. Clearly any advantage depends on the local conditions.


Record updated on : 02 March 2015
Record id : 13

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