Clearance of landmines and explosive remnants of war
FSD clears explosive remnants of war so that people can again live in safety. Landmines are not the only explosive threats to civilian populations once a war ends. Often, bombs, artillery shells, mortars, rockets and grenades, or cluster munitions that did not explode when they were employed, still pose a risk of detonation, sometimes many decades after they were used or discarded. Also, many post-modernist conflicts have seen the wide-spread use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). These are devices that can use conventional explosive charges or improvised home-made explosives; in addition to this they may utilise improvised switching mechanisms using simple or complex electronics, radios and remote triggers, long command wires, trip wires or “booby trap” pressure, or pressure release, type switches. The multitude of improvised mechanisms that may be adopted, combined with unpredictable and inherently improvised construction methods, present an entirely new and dangerous threat to humanitarian operators.
Destruction of landmines, weapons and ammunition stockpiles
FSD collects, secures and destroys stocks of landmines, weapons and munitions to reduce the risk to civilian populations. Many countries maintain obsolete stocks of munitions that might pose a risk of explosion due to poor storage standards and unpredictable characteristics of shelf-life expired explosive components. Once a conflict ends, disarmament campaigns may produce stockpiles of weapons that must be destroyed to protect against mass explosions at storage facilities, to prevent accidents in the use of expired ordnance and also so as to defend against obsolete bulk explosives and weapons falling into the wrong hands.
Children are amongst the first innocent victims of unexploded ordnance, landmines and explosive remnants of war in a post-conflict environment. In the absence of clearance, one of the best ways to prevent mine and explosive accidents is to mark dangerous areas and to educate the people living near-by in order to raise awareness and change behaviours around such hazards. While Mine-risk education does not eradicate the danger, it reduces the likelihood of accidents. FSD educates children, youths and adults in contaminated regions; often, mine-risk education is combined with community liaison and engagement, data collection, victim support, survey and clearance activities.