The newly trained DDG demining team in Colombia

DDG looking forward to promoting safer communities in Colombia

DDG is looking forward to starting clearance work in Colombia, where a team of new deminers have recently been trained. They will work hard to clear contaminated land, eliminating the threat of explosives and promoting the safety of their communities.

15/04/2019

In March 2018 the Danish Demining Group (DDG) gained accreditation to work in two municipalities in Colombia. The country is contaminated with antipersonnel mines and explosive ordnance, threatening people in their daily lives and affecting the safety of local communities. Since March 2018, DDG teams have identified four areas with confirmed explosive ordnance contamination and one area with suspected contamination. During this time DDG has also carried out community liaison activities in the affected areas to gain a better understanding of the local situation.

Early February to early March 2019 marked an important phase of DDG’s work in Colombia. During this month-long period DDG carried out a training course to accredit a team of deminers in the Municipality of San José del Fragua in the south of the country. 27 new deminers completed the training course. To stimulate local employment and promote diversity, 22 of the deminers were recruited locally, eight of them are female and one is a member of the indigenous reservation Yurayaco. The training went well and the results from the final examination were very positive – 21 passed and were accredited, and the six who did not pass get a second opportunity to take the examination again at the end of April 2019.

These encouraging results mean that DDG is taking important steps towards having fully trained and capable deminers that can start clearance in Colombia! A newly accredited deminer, Derly Coronado, said of the training:

In my opinion the training was carried out in the best way possible by the instructors. In addition, the organization does very rigorous work and the best is that it benefits my own community.

Dewadhy Zuliem, another accredited deminer, added:

That DDG works here is very good for the community, because it helps creating jobs and the same people in the community help clean up areas that have been contaminated for many years. Thanks to that, the farmers will feel more secure and without the fear of using their land.

DDG working in Caquetá for the benefit of the municipalities of San José and Belén, for me that I am from the department, is very exciting; since it helps for the socio-economic development at both departmental and local levels; that is why the work of the organization is very important here and, above all, because the people can continue to walk freely through the territories that were previously contaminated by explosive devices used by the armed groups.