The project, which is being carried out by OMAR, an Afghan humanitarian mine action non-governmental organization (NGO), is funded by Canada through the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action, which is managed by the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS).The de-mining of Ghazni is in support of preparations to have the city recognized as an Islamic Centre of Civilization by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) in 2013.The OMAR project will clear nine minefields through the deployment of eight manual mine clearance teams, one mechanical mine removal unit, one mine detection dog set and one explosive ordnance disposal team.In total, there are 48 identified minefields remaining in the centre of Ghazni, which contaminate over six square kilometres of land, causing deaths and injuries as well as preventing the land from being used for housing or farming.This project will remove the impact of mines from seven communities, including different sites of special archaeological or historical importance, such as shrines and monuments.“I am pleased that the work is now under way to clear the archaeologically and culturally rich city of Ghazni,” said Maxwell Kerley, the director of UNMAS. “We appeal to our donor partners and friends in the Islamic world to contribute further to this important work so that the families of Ghazni can, for the first time in 30 years, live free from the threat of landmines and other explosive remnants of war,” he added.Additional funding could support further efforts by 12 teams to clear remaining minefields in the centre in two years, in time for the city’s designation as an Islamic Centre of Civilization.The project will follow the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan’s model of “community-based de-mining,” by which the majority of the de-miners are being recruited and trained from Ghazni with expert oversight from OMAR’s experienced staff.So far, 50 new jobs have been created in Ghazni through the project. The training of these de-miners will be completed on Wednesday, following which they will join the teams which have begun the work. A further two teams will then be recruited and trained so that eventually all eight de-mining teams will comprise locally recruited people. 26 August 2010The United Nations entity tasked with coordinating landmine removal efforts said today it is supporting the efforts of a local organization that is removing mines from the Afghan city of Ghazni, ahead of a planned designation of the city as an Islamic centre of civilization. read more