Mines Advisory Group begins work in Sri Lanka

As the Sri Lankan conflict winds down, the government is now allowing land mine clearing experts to clear the Northern province of mines and other Improvised Explosive Devices. Once this is complete a large portion - some say 80%-90% - of the displaced people can be resettled.

Reuters AlertNet

MAG focuses on defining safe areas that can be used immediately by the civilian population and to identify high risk areas for further potential clearance activities. MAG's survey teams collect data from various sources to establish the level, location and impact that mines and unexploded ordnance have on the communities and their plans for return.

The first source of information in the task area has been the Sri Lankan Army (SLA), who have provided guides and information so that the teams have been able to enter the contentious areas. In addition, the teams have located and met with the local people and then physically mapped the areas on foot.

All information is cross-referenced, categorised and geo-referenced to give an overall picture on the ground. This information is used to support the risk assessment of the areas and ultimately the documentation required by the District Mine Action Office necessary to issue low risk certificates.

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