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Marking and Fencing

Marked Mine Field

Marking is part of the mine clearance process and it is effectuated before an area is going be cleared; but marking is also used for areas that will most likely not be cleared for a certain period of time.  Thus it can be a very efficient way to prevent mine-related accidents.

Formal marking is carried out by the mine action organisations, but the population also places signs in areas that are known to be potentially hazardous, this is called informal marking. In fact, involving the local community allows for more effective marking, because local residents can provide historical knowledge that external organisations would otherwise not know.    

There are different ways that an area can be marked. Fencing refers to the construction of barriers that define the perimeters of the hazardous area; the disadvantages of this method are high costs and maintenance needs. Therefore mine fields are often marked only by hazard signs, which don't have to be manufactured. Very often the population improvises markings with certain items to indicate potential threats. Common to all hazard signs are, that they need to indicate the danger clearly and have to cater to the local population (language, images, etc.).