Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Apopo, CMAC to continue mine-clearing collaboration




Apopo, CMAC to continue mine-clearing collaboration

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Mine Detection Rats (MDR) project aims to clear 130ha of landmine-contaminated areas in Siem Reap and 300ha in Preah Vihear. Photo supplied

Apopo, CMAC to continue mine-clearing collaboration

The Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) on Monday received over $300,000 from Belgian non-profit, Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnede Product Ontwikkeling (Apopo), for a Mine Detection Rats (MDR) project to clear landmines on 430ha of plantations in Siem Reap and Preah Vihear provinces.

The year-long project will begin next year.

A memorandum of understanding involving Mine Detection Rats Integrated and the CMAC Demining Capacity project was signed on Monday by CMAC director-general Heng Ratana and Apopo-Cambodia programme manager Michael Heiman in the capital.

“The project, which will deploy a total of 34 CMAC staff, will be implemented in Siem Reap under the management of CMAC Demining Unit (DU) 4, and in Preah Vihear under CMAC DU 6 with a total grant assistance of $304,226.85 covering the period from January 1 to December 31,” said Ratana.

He said staff will be divided into six teams composed of two Technical Survey and Clearance (TSC) teams, two Brush Cutter (BC) teams and two MDR teams.

The project aims to clear 130ha of landmine-contaminated areas in Siem Reap and 300ha in Preah Vihear.

In 2014, Apopo introduced MDRs to Cambodia to support CMAC’s demining activities. The integration of MDRs with manual mine-clearance workers and demining machines has sped up demining operations and increased productivity, said CMAC.

“This year, CMAC and Apopo take a step forward by integrating a new concept of the Smart Technical Survey Dogs with CMAC. It is a long evaluation project that CMAC and Apopo have been doing together. And it has gained the interest of international communities,” CMAC said.

Heiman said the technical survey dogs will be equipped with GPS, cameras, and voice control backpacks. He said the biggest advantage of animal detection systems is their ability to skip over metallic objects and single out explosives, thus accelerating clearance in many hazardous areas in the Kingdom.

Apopo operates in Siem Reap, Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey provinces and has 52 rats. Next year, both CMAC and Apopo will continue its project, funded by the JTI Foundation, the UK and Dutch People’s Postcode Lotteries, Calmar Corps and Global Development Group.

“We are extremely happy to continue our work with CMAC for the benefit of the people in Cambodia and I would like to thank Ratana for all his efforts and ongoing support for the success of this project,” said Heiman.

By next year, Apopo aims to clear and release 3,000,000sqm of mine-contaminated areas, added Heiman.

MOST VIEWED

  • Man Covid-19 positive after Thailand trip

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday reported the third Covid-19 case in less than two weeks, bringing the total to 125. The man, a 26-year-old from Tbong Khmum province's Tbong Khmum district, arrived at the O'Beichoan border checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province on Thursday. He is

  • Kingdom's GDP growth to narrow -1% to -2.9%, World Bank says

    The World Bank expects further recoil on Cambodia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to between minus one per cent and minus 2.9 per cent for 2020 as its main growth drivers – tourism, manufacturing exports and construction – take a beating due to Covid-19, its latest economic update

  • Vietnam: Tougher sentences for child abusers

    Several National Assembly (NA) deputies in Vietnam are calling for tougher penalties to be handed down to child abusers. They hope stricter punishments will act as a strong deterrent to prevent offenders committing further offences in the future. Extreme measures such as chemical castration were

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered