Another 60 families able to resettle
After nine months of demining operations in Jeyapuram, Kilinochi in Northern Sri Lanka by the Danish Demining Group and the clearance of almost 90.000 square meters, 60 families are now able to resettle.
The Danish Demining Group (DDG) under the Danish Refugee Council was tasked by the Regional Mine Action Office to undertake clearance of an area more than one kilometer in length and the teams have cleared a total of 87,277 m2. Due to the random laying of mines DDG had to carry out 100% clearance of the area. The team recovered 366 Anti-Personnel mines and 11 items of unexploded ordinance. The beneficiaries are 60 families that have been waiting to resettle and re-establish agricultural livelihoods.
“After a nine month effort it is a great relief to see civilian displaced families ready to resettle and start farming in the area. DDG demining teams have provided a chance for these families to become self reliant – a possibility that was taken from them as a consequence of a conflict they were never a part of, “says Grant Manager with DDG in Sri Lanka, Camilla A. Andersen.
The demining operation in Jayapuram was undertaken by DDG on invitation from Regional Mine Action Office and a lot of international donors contributed with vital funding.
“Without the cooperation from the national and regional government and funding from our donors - DANIDA, The US Department of State and the Australian Government this result would not have been possible. The two teams have now moved on to new tasks in the same area in support of same objectives,” says Camilla A. Andersen.
The conclusion of the nine month demining operation in Jayapuram was celebrated at a ceremony attended by senior representatives from national and local Government, Regional Mine Action Office, local media, the Sri Lankan Army and Police, and the beneficiaries from Jeyapuram.
“The cooperation has been ideal among all actors involved and the celebration confirmed the commitment of releasing Northern Sri Lanka from mines among authorities, donors and beneficiaries,” says Camilla A. Andersen.
DDG has been operating in Sri Lanka since 2003 and today the organisation has 14 teams (425 de-miners, 33 of whom are female) working in three districts of northern Sri Lanka. 35,237 families have benefitted from DDG activities since 2009. Mine clearance of High and Medium priority tasks is expected to continue for 2-3 years depending on the ability to sustain clearance resources through funding.