Scrap metal found in the town of Khyam, near Nabatieh in southern Lebanon.
MAG Lebanon’s Battle Area Clearance (BAC) teams work in testing terrains – either rocky, mountainous and often heavily vegetated, or built-up areas which present their own challenges.
To confirm an area is free from Explosive Remnants of War, scrap commonly found below the surface of the ground, such as metal nails, tin cans and wire, must be painstakingly excavated along with Explosive Ordnance scrap.
MAG Technical Support Manager Jesse James explains: “Most of the scrap metal found during clearance is sub-surface, so requires the normal mine clearance drill of excavation to determine whether the signal given by the metal detector is scrap metal, which can then be removed, or an unexploded cluster submunition, which will require a controlled demolition to safely destroy it in situ.”
'These days I feel hopeful'
In November 2010 alone, seven BAC teams removed 19,727 items of Explosive Ordnance scrap, and a further 143,983 items of scrap metal, from five villages in southern Lebanon: Al Khiam, Jibchit, Mayfadoun, Yohmor and Zawtar Al Gharbiyah.
On top of that, one Mine Action Team (MAT) continued to work on the site of a minefield in Houla on the Blue Line, while a second MAT worked in the Mtolleh minefield in the Chouf region and a Mechanical Team supported minefield clearance in Dellafeh.
In total, 467 hazardous Explosive Remnants of War were removed and destroyed during November – 52 submunitions, 21 items of unexploded ordnance, and 394 anti-personnel landmines.
There were more than 46,000 direct beneficiaries of this work, which is contributing to the social and economic recovery and development of the country, freeing up access to agricultural areas and public services.
Information gathered by MAG Lebanon’s Community Liaison teams show that 990m² of land cleared in November has been used for agricultural development, primarily olive groves and horticultural greenhouses, and 290m² for the development of shelters and settlements, including 30 houses.
MAG deminers searching Houla minefield.
[Photos: MAG Lebanon]
MAG thanks the following donors to the Lebanon programme: Office of
Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State; German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Government of Japan; UKaid (Department for International Development); Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; European Commission; AusAID.
15 December 2010