In 2018 45,500 items of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), i.e. landmines and such, were extracted from nearly 90 square kilometres of Cambodian land, and ultimately destroyed. This made the land perilously farmable again.
Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) Director General Heng Ratana reported on Friday (Feb. 22) that 18 percent more was achieved than planned, but the problem is still acute. “The number of people killed by UXO and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in 2018 is the same as in 2017; 58 people were killed – six more by landmines than in 2017.”
The CMAC also educated 64,380 people living in vulnerable areas of the hazards such UXO presents.
For National Mine Awareness Day, Sunday (Feb. 24), Prime Minister Hun Sen has prepared a message reminding people to avoid any contact with landmines and UXO because mines, ERW, and cluster bombs still kill. This continues to obstruct the development of the country and the betterment of its people.
He said that, to continue addressing the threat presented by UXO, the government had set the National Mine Action Strategy for 2018-2025 with the ultimate goal of destroying these explosives by 2025.
From 1992 to 2018, Cambodia demined more than 1,800 square kilometres of land, making it usable for housing and farming. Over one million landmines and almost three million ERW were destroyed. The number of fatalities caused by these war relics sank from 4,320 in 1996 to 58 in 2018.