Even though landmines gained prominence after their extensive use in the Second World War, they have been in existence since the 1800’s. According to historical accounts, landmines were first used in the American Civil War. However, it was only during WWII that they became one of the major weapons of the war. Since then, landmines have been used in many wars and conflicts, both interstate and intrastate, secure areas, and to terrorise and harm enemies. They are still being used in many armed conflicts.
With such a long history of widespread use and their prevalence even today, landmines pose a huge risk, globally. This is why mine clearance is one of the vital aspects of post-conflict measures to be undertaken.
What is Mine Clearance?
Mine clearance, also called demining, is the process of removing land mines from an identified area. It can be divided into two broad categories depending on the outcome for which it is performed. Military demining focuses on clearing a path through minefields rapidly, so that troops can safely move across or perform their duties. Humanitarian demining, on the other hand, involves deliberate and methodical clearance of landmines completely to make it safe for the local population, transport and wildlife.
Why is Mine Clearance Important?
A report issued by RAND Corporation in 2003 estimated that there were roughly about 40 to 50 million land mines worldwide and around 1.9 million new land mines added each year. While no one knows the exact number of land mines that are present in the world, they are roughly estimated to be somewhere between 60 and 100 million, spread across about one-third of the world.
In addition to posing a huge safety risk to people and wildlife, landmines also increase the social and economic burden for affected families as well as the society or state at large. They increase the cost of healthcare, limit the mobility of people, inhibit the use of lands for agricultural purposes, and may also hinder the transportation of goods. The psychological impact of living in an area that’s rife with minefields is also very high. What makes the threat even greater is the fact that landmines can remain active for several decades.
These factors make demining operations essential.
The State of Minefield Clearance – Approaches, Challenges, and Limitations
Even though minefield clearance has always been given priority in post-war efforts, there have been several challenges and limitations to performing it effectively, quickly, and on a mass level. These primarily included the lack of advanced technology, which made it a long and difficult task, and the high cost of demining. As noted in a UNICEF report, it can cost up to $1,000 to clear a landmine (which only takes $3 to manufacture).
Armtrac Ltd. – Making Demining Easier With Advanced Machinery!
Armtrac Limited has been committed to improving the practices of minefield clearance for over 20 years. We have a range of advanced mechanical demining machines and robots that can be remotely operated. Our machines significantly reduce the risk and cost of demining and also speeds up the process of Technical Survey and Area Reduction. [Click here to check out our range of demining machines]
We know that purchasing demining machines increases the cost of minefield clearance. That’s why we design our mechanical demining equipment to carry out multiple roles (demining, Counter-IED and Engineering) with a variety of different toolkits to operate on the same platform thus making each product more cost effective. We can also provide the machinery on a rental or lease basis because we’re truly committed to making this world a safer place. Visit our website to learn more about our products or get in touch with us to buy or lease a demining machine.