The Japanese government has granted $744,052 to Japan Mine Action Service to support community-based demining in Battambang province’s Karieng district, the Japanese embassy said in a press release on July 22.
“Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) received $312,300 of the grant for three small platoons of 90 soldiers for one-year mine clearing in Taseng commune, Kamrieng district, in Battambang province,” said Khem Sophoan, director general of CMAC.
The project will benefit over 5,000 villagers by alleviating the threat of mines in the area and by bringing about community development activities once the mines are cleared, the embassy said.
After decades of civil war, Cambodia remains littered with an estimated 10 million landmines.
“It is anticipated that Cambodia will be cleared of landmines by 2020,” said Khem Sophoan.
“Since 2003, CMAC has cleared about 213 square kilometers of landmines, mostly in western Cambodia and especially in Battambang, one of the most heavily mine affected provinces in Cambodia,” Khem Sophoan said.
“The death rate caused by mines has dropped remarkably from about 1,600 people in 1999 to 352 in 2007 and 170 in the first six months of 2008,” she added.