The Japanese government has provided demining equipment worth about $800,000 to support the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC)’s demining activities in Battambang province.

The new donation means the Kingdom now has around 50 pieces of machinery to assist with demining activities across the country, according to CMAC director-general Heng Ratana.

Ratana told The Post on February 7 that the equipment was delivered straight to Battambang on February 4 through the Cambodian-Thai border.

“This machinery is part of Japanese support provided to Cambodia for a three-year demining project in Pailin, Battambang and Pursat provinces,” he said.

He continued that the three-year project in the three provinces will be completed by late February, but the Japanese government will continue to support it for the next four years.

According to Ratana, the machinery helps to speed up the clearance of mines in Cambodia as it can drill into the land and destroy them in place. The machinery has reduced difficulties for deminers in difficult-to-reach areas such as bamboo forests where it is challenging to detect unexploded ordnance (UXO) because this equipment can still locate them.

“This machinery has made the valuable work of our teams less challenging. CMAC currently has more than 50 such pieces of equipment in operation throughout the country,” he added.

The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) said that despite facing a global pandemic, in 2021 Cambodia cleared at least 153sq km of landmines and explosive remnants of war and destroyed 20,026 anti-personnel mines, 372 anti-tank mines and 73,566 explosive remnants.