Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kep province first to reach mine-free status

Kep province first to reach mine-free status

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An aria view of Kep province. FACEBOOK

Kep province first to reach mine-free status

Cambodia has declared Kep the first mine-free province, with the capital and six other provinces – Prey Veng, Kandal, Kampong Cham, Preah Sihanouk, Ratanakkiri and Takeo – soon to follow.

Ly Thuch, first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, presided over the ceremonial declaration on February 28 at the Kep Provincial Hall.

He recalled that in 2011, CMAA had chosen Kep for landmine clearance and planned to turn it into the first mine-free province with the financial support of Norway and Hungary and chose the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) as the demining operator.

He thanked the governments and peoples of Norway and Hungary and CMAC for providing financial and technical support to clear landmines in Kep, as well as development partners, “friendly” countries and other national and international demining operators for providing support for humanitarian mine action in Cambodia.

“Cambodia has been victimised by chronic wars since the 1960s, by both landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). Villages and provinces cleared of landmines are still troubled by UXO such as air-dropped bombs, cluster munitions and other deadly explosives.

“Kep has been cleared of landmines, but it has yet to be rid of the problem of UXO from the war entirely. Please continue to be careful and together continue to take measures to solve and respond to the presence of UXO in a timely and effective manner,” he said.

Thuch added that in order to support the government’s priority plans and achieve the vision of a “Mine-Free Cambodia 2025”, CMAA has developed guidelines on mine-free village mechanism implementation that will ensure that every minefield in all villages are cleared with the aim of speeding up the process and attracting new donors from the private sector.

He said the Kingdom has clearly defined the scope and extent of the impact of landmines and UXO throughout the country. Cambodia once had 2,017sq km of landmines and UXO, with 788sq km remaining to be cleared of landmines by 2025 nationwide.

Kep governor Som Piseth noted at the event that the province was a battlefield where there was fierce fighting between government soldiers and the Khmer Rouge, especially in the Voah mountain area which was one of the most disputed regions of Cambodia.

After the war ended, some areas were left with landmines and UXO that caused injuries in 221 cases – 198 in Damnak Changaur district and 23 in Kep town.

“Although Kep is the first mine-free province, I believe that CMAA and donors will still continue to support Kep in this sector to address the remaining problems of explosive remnants of war [ERW],” he continued.

CMAC director-general Heng Ratana said at the event that Kep had a total of 27 minefields with an area of 4,230,176sqm and the organisation had cleared 18 minefields with an area of 3,232,214sqm from 1995-1999.

He added that the CMAC had deployed forces for the second time in late 2021 and early 2022 to remove the remaining anti-personnel mines from affected areas and then cleared nine minefields with an area of 997,962 square metres in Damnak Changaur district’s Poang Teuk commune.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement