PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – The Japanese Government signed an agreement with the Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS) to provide over $500,000 for demining and explosives removal projects in Cambodia yesterday.
“Millions of mines and unexploded ordinance (UXO) remain in Cambodia, it is a main obstacle for development,” said Japanese Ambassador Yuji Kumamaru. “Mine and UXO clearance is a major factor for developing social infrastructure and the economy, particularly the agriculture sector.”
A total of 134 people were killed or suffered injuries as a result of landmine explosions across the Kingdom from January to September of this year.
JMAS will be working in partnership with the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) on the implementation of the grant for technical training projects.
“We want to create a safety system in order to expand the technical capacity of the CMAC staff,” Mr. Kumamaru said.
Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS) representative Hiromi Fuchikami said, “JMAS, in cooperation with CMAC, will focus on improving the capacity of CMAC deminers working in Kampong Chhnang province.”
“JMAS not only improves the technical capacity of deminers, but also tests demining equipment in order to strengthen the operation of landmine removal,” Ms. Fuchikami said.
She added that after receiving training, the deminers will be clearing ordinance in Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu and Pursat provinces.
64,443 mine casualties were recorded in Cambodia between 1979 and August of 2014, according to the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, including 19,701 killed and 8,953 amputees.