Cambodia Self-Help Demining (CSHD) founded in 2007 by Aki Ra, a Khmer man and former child soldier. CSHD works in “low priority” villages throughout Cambodia. There are now approximately 25 deminers working with the CSHD.
Aki Ra began demining on his own in the 1990’s working with a stick and a pair of pliers to disarm each individual mine. He is said to have cleared nearly 50,000 before he began with CSHD, who have now cleared approximately 100 villages and 2,938,409.5 square meters of land.
Though there are 6 other demining groups in Cambodia the focus on low priority areas mean those communities that still at risk but not considered a high priority are rendered safer.
Each group goes through the required training, and through donations are able to acquire the specialist gear and equipment as well as an on-call ambulance.
CSHD also provide Mine Relief Education to at risk communities and in communities where new mines have been found. The education is usually in an informal setting lasting up to an hour but provides the basic safety in order to ensure the safety of the community, particularly for if they comme across UXO themselves.
This profile is part of AOAV’s investigation into counter-IED (C-IED) actors around the globe. To see the list of all C-IED actors recorded by AOAV, see here. To see those engaged in the Middle East, the Sahel, North Africa or other highly impacted countries please see here, here, here, and here respectively. This research was made possible by funding from the NATO Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Centre of Excellence (C-IED COE). To read the full report, ‘Addressing the threat posed by IEDs: National, Regional and Global Initiatives’, see here.
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