The Falkland Islands Government announced on Wednesday that the first phase of its three-year program of works to remove former minefield fences is progressing well and is ahead of schedule.
The Falkland Islands hope that the complete clearance of the minefields, a legacy of the 1982 Argentine military invasion, can be finalized by the end of the decade and in the meantime it is actively considering post-clearance management of those sites that are released, particularly in the area surrounding the capital Stanley.
A member of the demining team is receiving treatment in hospital following a demining accident on 27 February, reports the Falkland Islands government. During routine demining, a Team Leader, suffered minor injuries to his hand following an explosion. The incident occurred in minefield SA032 located in Moody Valley, to the west of Stanley.
Chile has cleared 72% of minefields in its territory, and expects to have finished the task by March 2020, according to the head of the country's De-mining Committee Army Colonel Rodrigo Ventura.
The third phase of explosive ordnance and landmine clearance in the Falkland Islands is scheduled to begin next January and extend until March 2013 and is programmed to concentrate in the surrounding of the capital Stanley.
Next March 26 the Falkland Islands will be holding an ‘opening’ ceremony to celebrate the release of another 3.5 square kilometres which have been cleared from mines and other explosives planted by Argentine forces during the 1982 invasion.
A project to release land from antipersonnel mines planted by the Argentine invaded forces during the 1982 Falklands conflict is “progressing solidly” said Guy Lucas, Chief Executive Officer from BACTEC a group which specializes in explosive ordnance, mine action and bomb disposal.
Robin Swanson, head of the Demining Program Office and visiting the Falkland Islands this week ahead of the new phase of land-mine clearance due to start early next year, confirmed that the forthcoming planned clearances will advance the demining process from the pilot stage to a more advanced “land release” phase.
Falkland Islands students were reminded this week of the dangers of the 30 year old minefields, laid by the Argentines, surrounding the capital Stanley, when British forces’ experts visited the Infant and Junior School and the Community School.
Falkland Islands’ next phase of minefield clearance will take place in Stanley Common greatly increasing the Islands’ capital recreational area was announced by Government House reports the latest Penguin News edition.