Mine clearance firm in 10m Sudan contract (SUDAN)
Killer mines in a war-ravaged country are being cleared by a company from the Forest of Dean. MineTech International has won a 10 million contract to clear landmines in some of the most dangerous parts of Sudan.
UNITED KINGDOM, 10 March 2008 (The Citizen)--
The company, based in Mitcheldean, has already mobilised 115 specially-trained mine clearance workers to Darfur, Juba in the far south of the country and Kasala in the east near the Eritrean border.
Heavy-duty ground clearance machinery has been shipped from MineTech's development base near Devizes, along with a range of lightweight mine detection vehicles.
Highly-sensitive dogs are also being used in the fight against mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), which kill and maim thousands of men, women and children every year.
Managing director Mike Jaques said: "ERWs pose a significant threat to the people of Sudan causing death and injury.
"Fear of landmines also hampers travel and transportation and their continued presence is a major barrier to regeneration and development.
"This is a vital initiative and we are pleased MineTech is at the very heart of it."
The contract is part of more than 20 million committed to Sudanese landmine clearance by the international community in he last year.
Sudan's legacy of landmines and is extensive after 22 years of conflict.
Children in the region, one of the poorest places in the world, often fall victim to landmines because they are attracted to the shiny, unusual-looking objects.
MineTech experts have launched an education programme in local communities in Darfur. They aim to cut deaths and injuries caused by landmines and will also educate local people to continue with ongoing clearance projects.
Minetech has doubled its staff in recent years to meet global demand for its work.
Since moving its administration headquarters from Zimbabwe to the forest, the firm has taken on more than 90 new employees.
On winning this latest contract, the company is already looking for more staff to fill administrative and project management roles to help support more than 1,000 medics, consultants, training, health, safety and landmine clearance professionals out in the field.
Von: (c) 2008 The Citizen