the halo trust – removing landmines
by Tim Willmott : Be the first to leave a comment
The economic and environmental impact of war and civil unrest is enormous. HALO specialises in the removal of the hazardous debris of war. With nearly 8,000 full-time mineclearers in 9 countries, with on-going surveys into new regions, their achievements are astonishing.
In the twenty-one years since the founding of HALO:
- over one million landmines have been destroyed;
- over ten million items of larger calibre ordnance destroyed;
- over fifty million bullets destroyed;
- over 2,800 heavy weapon systems immobilized;
- over 85,000 assault rifles destroyed;
- over 6,000 minefields cleared;
- 21,532 hectares (53,206 acres) made safe from landmines;
- 110,576 hectares (273,239 acres) made safe from unexploded and abandoned ordnance;
- 11,328 kilometers (7,038 miles) of roads cleared.
In areas such as northern Mozambique HALO have finished their work, with every single village declaring that they are free from landmines. In other countries they still have five more years of work, and in countries such as Afghanistan the work plan extends to 2020.
The charity, founded by Guy Willoughby and Colin Mitchell in Afghanistan in 1988, and incorporated in March of that year, is the world’s oldest and largest humanitarian landmine clearance organisation with one single-minded mission : ‘to get mines out of the ground, for good’. As leaders in the mine action community, HALO has cleared over 12 million landmines and other explosive remnants of war.
HALO employs more than 7000 locally recruited staff and is run from a small global HQ in rural Scotland. HALO invests in local leadership, keeping mine-affected communities integral to the process and providing employment in areas where there are few opportunities. HALO is at the forefront of development, as their work not only saves lives but is a prerequisite to any post-conflict reconstruction.
HALO also runs Weapons & Ammunition Disposal programmes which help stabilise countries that are at risk of armed conflict, destroying weapons and stockpiles of dangerous ammunition. In Afghanistan they destroy an average of eighty tons of ammunition each month that could otherwise be used to make IEDs.
HALO currently works in Afghanistan, Angola, Burma, Cambodia, Colombia, Georgia, Kosovo, Laos, Mozambique, Nagorno Karabakh, Sri Lanka, Somaliland, The West Bank and Zimbabwe.
HALO is a registered charity and 96.2% of income goes directly to theirfield operations.