The Humanitarian Demining Research and Development (HD R&D) Programme, the Cambodian Mine Action Authority (CMAA) and demining operators are currently holding discussions on the use of new technologies for better, faster, safer, lower cost and more efficient demining operations.

During the May 20-21 Technology Requirement Workshop, Sean Burke, director of HD R&D, said that the programme had contributed to demining actions through new technology since 2006. He noted the excellent achievements of the sector in the past five years.

At present, there are 19 technologies in use, consisting of 133 individual systems, with a total value of over $5.2 million. More than 5,000 Cambodian deminers are currently employed throughout the Kingdom.

This year, eight more technologies will arrive in the Kingdom. Training will begin in three of them in July, while the remaining five will be in use by the end of the year, according to Burke. 

He added that the workshop demonstrated the US’s commitment to updating the technology used to detect and destroy landmines, as well as other unexploded ordnance (UXO). 

Ly Thuch, first vice-president of the CMAA, explained that Cambodia is at the forefront of the use of technology for demining and the clearance of UXOs. 

He noted that additional technologies will improve the safety and efficiency of Cambodian deminers in the field. 

“Annually, significant funding for state-of-the-art technology worth over six million dollars is deployed through the HD R & D Programme,” he said.

“These advanced technologies, utilised by our colleagues from esteemed NGOs like HALO Trust and MAG, are crucial in our relentless quest to clear landmines and explosive remnants of war,” he added.

Since 1993, the US has contributed $208 million for mine action in Cambodia, according to the CMAA.