The British High Commission in Colombo has been funding demining work in Sri Lanka since 2010.
Between 2010 and 2019, we will have spent over £6.2 million (over LKR 1.2 billion) on demining all across the North and East of Sri Lanka.
“Working mostly through our partners, The HALO Trust, we intend to clear more than 600km2 of land between 2016 and 2019, making it safe for people to move home and start cultivating their land again,” Deputy UK High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Laura Davies said.
She noted that recently, two of her colleagues travelled to Muhamalai, Jaffna, to hear from deminers there about the progress they are making.
Deputy Programme Manager Chanuki explains, “We saw a vast area of productive land that could not be used for livelihoods due to the high density of mines. Teams of HALO deminers were meticulously clearing their way through land to be released for occupation. We met families, and many female headed households, living in temporary shelters and concerned about sustainable income, access to facilities and rebuilding communities.”
The Government of Sri Lanka has set itself 2020 as a target for the whole of Sri Lanka being mine impact free.
Davies said the UK will be with Sri Lanka every step of the way, supporting the achievement of that target and encouraging the Government to mark it by becoming a signatory to the Ottawa Convention. (Colombo Gazette)