MAG in Sri Lanka

PEOPLE WE'VE HELPED DIRECTLY SINCE 2009

46,000

LANDMINES REMOVED & DESTROYED SINCE 2009

34,924

UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE DESTROYED SINCE 2009

5,720

SQUARE METRES OF LAND MADE SAFE SINCE 2009

32,401,454

With international support, Sri Lanka can reach its goal of becoming free from the impact of landmines by 2020.

Land cleared of landmines in Sri Lanka

Rathika, with her son Dilakson: “The land is safe and we are safe.”

Photo: Sean Sutton/MAG

The problems

Why MAG is in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan civil war ended in 2009, but landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) continue to threaten communities in northern and eastern districts. 

Injuries and deaths are still occurring, and mines and UXO are also preventing communities from rebuilding their lives and re-establishing their livelihoods.

Contaminated land restricts access to paddy fields, water sources and routes to market. It also poses safety concerns for development agencies implementing rehabilitation projects.

International support has waned in recent years, and in early 2015, the Sri Lankan Government encouraged international organisations still operational in the country to continue clearance until the job is done.

PHOTO GALLERY: CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW

How MAG helps in Sri Lanka

By making land safe, MAG is helping people in Sri Lanka to rebuild their lives, livelihoods and futures following the civil war.

As internally displaced people continue to return to the area, it is vital that they have safe land to live and farm on. The land MAG is clearing in Mannar district is some of the most fertile in the country, producing rice and other crucial crops for domestic consumption.

Considered Sri Lanka’s ‘Rice Bowl’ due to its agricultural potency, Mannar suffered greatly during the war, when many kilometres of defensive mine rows were laid. Their lasting legacy rendered fertile land unusable and dangerous for the communities that are re-establishing their lives in the district.

EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT AND ECONOMICAL

MAG uses a mixture of manual and mechanical teams to maximise the efficiency of the land release process. We train and employ local people, including women, to keep valuable skills and wages in their communities.

A FUTURE FREE FROM FEAR

Life is returning to normal for the people in Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern districts – enabled by the demining teams who have made the land safe.

Now an end is in sight. With international support, Sri Lanka can reach its goal of becoming mine impact-free by 2020. MAG has been working in Sri Lanka since 2002 and this commitment motivates us even more to finish the task in hand. 

The remaining contaminated land needs to be cleared and released, allowing the Sri Lankan people to get on with their lives, and get back their futures, free from fear.

Beneficiaries of MAG's work in Sri Lanka

“After I found the landmines I was very worried. I only used a little bit of land after that and it was always frightening. Thanks to MAG, we now have five acres of land we can farm in safety.”  Ravindran Rajeevan, with his family in Mannar district.

Photo: Sean Sutton/MAG