Humanitarian Mine Clearance

Case Study: Digger Foundation

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Photo: Saobora Narin / Digger Foundation / Fairpicture

Brief

The Digger Foundation, a Swiss NGO that works in humanitarian mine clearance, installed a demining machine in the Cambodian Battambang province. The machine did its work for 36 months, which marks the end of the initial project phase. 

The goal of Fairpicture's assignment with the Digger Foundation was to highlight the socio-economic impact the demining process has had on the local Battambang population – in pictures, interviews and with a short video documentary.

Client

Digger Foundation

Visual Creator

Saobora Narin

Theme

Humanitarian Mine Clearance

Location

Battambang province, Cambodia

Date

May 2022

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Photo: Saobora Narin / Digger Foundation / Fairpicture

Context

Cambodia is one of most heavily contaminated countries in the world with landmines, cluster munitions and other unexploded weapons. As a result of the conflict between the Khmer Rouge, the Government of Cambodia and other factions, they affect all of the country's 25 provinces. The Digger Foundation developed a demining machine for the NGO Mines Advisory Group (MAG), which is based out of Manchester. The machine has been used in Cambodia for 25 years and is typically used for technical surveys. The beneficiaries of this project are rural communities who are largely dependent on subsistence agriculture and on harvesting products from the forest. MAG is focusing its work in the eastern provinces. There, the increasing demand for land, which goes hand-in-hand with recent economic development, is forcing poor rural populations to farm marginal land where the presence of mines is suspected, and even proven.

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Veth Narin, 28-year-old, with his wife Cheun Sophear, 27-year-old, and his 5-year-old son Rin Narin are standing in front of his Cassava farm at Kouk Roka village, Prey Toueng Koas Krala district, Battambang Province. Narin can farm, harvest and support the family after the demining process by Digger machine and MAG's team.

Photo: Saobora Narin / Digger Foundation / Fairpicture

Outcome

In May 2022, Fairpicture visual creator Saobora Narin travelled to the Battambang province and interviewed people and families whose livelihoods were affected by the demining work completed by the Digger Foundation and MAG. 

Besides written testimonial interviews and photographs, Saobora’s outstanding work is reflected in a mini-documentary, in which he tells the story of the situation before, during and after the Digger investment – in only 6 minutes.

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