Bosnia and Herzegovina
Territory: 51,197 km²
Population: 3.8 million
Estimated number of mines: approx. 200,000
Estimated contaminated area: 1,219 km²
Mine Situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995) millions of mines were laid and many ordnances were left behind. As a result, Bosnia and Herzegovina is now one of the countries with the largest mine contamination in the world. In 2013, 1,219 km² or 2.38 % of the country's territory, was still mined or reported to be mined most likely. The exact number of mines cannot be determined because many laying plans were destroyed during the war and mine fields were not documented by paramilitary units; it is estimated, that there are still approximately 200,000 mines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) present in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Landmines are by far the biggest problem for the security of the population and the economic reconstruction of the country. The areas with the most amounts of mines are houses, bridges, fields and roads that were once part of the battle zone. After the war, many refugees and displaced persons have been forced to return to regions that are still contaminated with mines. Reconstructing houses and other infrastructures is life-threatening work. Furthermore, many fields remain contaminated making it impossible for farmers to work the fields, which has resulted in a large decrease of food resources.
DEMIRA in Bosnia and Herzegovina
DEMIRA has been engaged in mine clearance in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2000. Our team works closely with the local forces in order to increase the efficiency of the mine clearance projects. Our deminers are exclusively recruited from local staff and they are trained and paid by DEMIRA. This allows Bosnian men and women to help liberate their own country from these deadly remnants of war.
When selecting the areas we work on, we focus on benefiting the local population. The primary goal is to ensure that life and survival in the affected areas is made possible. This includes, in particular, the provision of agricultural land, securing housing and the rehabilitation of key infrastructures such as schools, roads and water.