What is mine action?
Efficient mine action operations accelerate the return of land to productive use and help establish a safe environment where people affected by conflict can rebuild stable and dignified lives. Mine action entails more than removing landmines from the ground. It includes 5 types of actions:
What is the impact of mines?
Populations living in mine-affected communities must often live with the risk posed by mines. Due to mine contamination, people are often no longer able to farm their own fields and feed their family. Children are no longer able to go to school and refugees are unable to return safely home after the end of the conflicts.
Many of the contaminated countries are already poor, and the presence of mines and other explosive remnants of war is aggravating the situation. It limits access to livelihoods and obstructs reconstruction after the end of a conflict.
How to search for and clear mines?
Often, mines have not been laid in contained areas, but placed around a variety of strategic areas without any specific pattern. As a result, civilians, peacekeepers, aid workers and soldiers alike often have no way of knowing if they entered a mined area.
A combination of the three methods described below is usually used - depending on infrastructure, topography or national legislation: