Decades of armed conflict between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has left landmine and unexploded ordnance contamination across much of the country.
Most affected areas are in northern districts, where blast antipersonnel mines, anti-vehicle mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) cover an estimated area of 26 million meters squared.
While the Sri Lankan government and its partners have made good progress in their clearance programmes, many devices were fitted with anti-tilt and anti-lift mechanisms. This makes them even more dangerous to remove.
These difficulties are further compounded by the prevalence of explosive remnants of war (ERW) including unexploded air dropped bombs, handheld antitank projectiles, grenades and abandoned explosive ordnance.
Clearing contaminated land and removing these unexploded dangerous items makes communities safer, and releases land to be used for agriculture, infrastructure and recreation.