08.03.2010 - Artículo
"Every mine I clear saves a life"
Woman's de-mining team in Sri Lanka in the humanitarian front line
She is 33 and the mother of five children. She spends her working day looking for mines in a plot of land 50 sq.m in area. Moganakrishnan Thulasi is one of 16 members of an all-women de-mining team in Sri Lanka.
At the end of 2009, the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) brought together and trained for the first time a de-mining team consisting only of women. It is their job to clear unexploded mines and munitions from various districts of Sri Lanka that have been badly affected by the civil war. Only when these mines have been cleared can families who fled from the hostilities return to their land and start cultivating it again. By the end of February 2010 the women had cleared just under 1,000 mines and other unexploded munitions.
Up to 30 mines a day
The woman's de-mining team MAT 8 goes over an average of 45-50 sq.m of land a day with great precision and concentration, removing 20 to 30 mines and unexploded munitions. The FSD has been active in Sri Lanka since 2002 and its teams have so far cleared more than 21 square kilometres of land. The FSD is supported by Switzerland, which is contributing CHF 340,000 in 2010.
Mine-clearance is a male-dominated activity in Sri Lanka, as it is elswhere. Moganakrishnan Thulasi says that her work can help to save lives and can encourage other women to do this demanding job. The FSD programme manager in Sri Lanka says: "This is not just a PR exercise. These women are the first team to clear more than 1,000 mines. They are working in the humanitarian front line.“
Articles on the women's de-mining team (only in English):
Fondation Suisse de Déminage FSD (only in English):