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Front page article in The Washington Post
By Kevin Sieff
KABUL — As the U.S. military withdraws from Afghanistan, it is leaving behind a deadly legacy: about 800 square miles of land littered with undetonated grenades, rockets and mortar shells.
The military has vacated scores of firing ranges pocked with the explosives. Dozens of children have been killed or wounded as they have stumbled upon the ordnance at the sites, which are often poorly marked. Casualties are likely to increase sharply; the U.S. military has removed the munitions from only 3 percent of the territory covered by its sprawling ranges, officials said.
A short film by documentarian Marco Grob and narrated by Daniel Craig follows "Douglas", a UNMAS demining technician in Mali, who risks his life day in and day out in an effort to uncover and dispose of "the leftover detritus of war".
The State Journal, West Virginia's Business Newspaper, recently published a feature about the Schonstedt Humanitarian Demining Initiative (SHDI):
Small Kearneysville company recognized for big donations
Posted: Mar 07, 2014 2:59 PM EST By Linda Harris, Legal Reporter
There are days when Bob Ebberson and his co-workers at Schonstedt Instrument Co. must feel a little like David battling Goliath.
Small by any standards — there are just 25 employees in the company — Kearneysville-based Schonstedt is trying to make the world just a little bit safer by donating hand-held magnetic locators to people in war-torn world communities to help them find underground mines and unexploded ordnance that could kill or maim unsuspecting children and adults as they walk, play or plow fields that look deceptively inviting.
But eight years and nearly 500 free magnetic locators later, they're learning an ugly truth: human nature being what it is, 500 isn't going to be nearly enough.
"It makes the employees here feel particularly good about what we do here every day," said Ebberson, who is director of Schonstedt's business development as well as its Humanitarian Demining Mission, which operates in partnership with the United Nations. "Everything we manufacture here is all American-made and we're an employee-owned company," he said. "Everybody knows when they come to work in the morning they're literally helping save lives around the world."
The legacy of thirty years of conflict has left communities in Afghanistan facing many problems. One of the great challenges the country faces is ridding itself of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and stray ammunition (SA) that lies hidden, scattered across the whole country. Many of these items have lain dormant for many years waiting to injure unsuspecting civilians who unearth them when tending to their land or used by insurgents to destabilize the country and work against the GoIRA and its people.
The donation of 12 x Schonstedt GA-72Cd magnetic locators has been greatly received by the Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan (MAPA). Schonstedt magnetic locators make up the back bone of the MAPA's UXO/SA search capabilities with this technology being used to locate items, which are then destroyed, including cluster munitions and large calibre UXO and SA. Each month over 80 tons of ammunition is destroyed across the MAPA and Schonstedt GA-72Cd Magnetic Locators play a major part in the location and destruction of these explosive items.
The HALO Trust on behalf of the MAPA implementing partners who are benefiting from this donation would like to thank the donors for their generous donation of these locators.
These achievements were made possible thanks to the partnership established between the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and Schonstedt.
60 Winners of $60 Gift Certificates were drawn at random from more than 1100 entries in
Round #6, the Final Round, of the 2013 Great Locator Giveaway. See this list here
Chris Brown, PLS, of Quantum Spatial in Portland Oregon was drawn as the Winner of the Great Locator Giveaway #6, the final Giveaway for 2013! Chris claimed a GA-92XTd magnetic locator as his prize.
But Wait, There's More: The Grand Prize Drawing! Chris Brown joins all other entrants in the 6 Locator Giveaways for the drawing of a 7-Day Cruise for Two. ANNOUNCEMENT COMING SOON ON THIS WEBSITE!
The Schonstedt Humanitarian Demining Initiative (SHDI) continues to support the United Nations Mine Action Service in its efforts to eradicate explosive remnants of war from countries around the world. In recognition, and in addition to a permanent display of a Schonstedt demining tool at the United Nations, a second unit is now featured in a recently opened exhibition in the Visitor's Center at UN Headquarters in New York.
United Nations Mine Action Service
This video tells the story of an innovative humanitarian demining partnership involving the United Nations Mine Action Service, Schonstedt Instrument Company, the US Department of State and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) who have raised funds for donating magnetic locators to mine action programmes around the world.
Produced by Richard Krantz firstname.lastname@example.org
The generous and timely donation by Schonstedt Instrument Company of 35 magnetic locators to the programme of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Mali is significantly enabling the survey of dangerous areas contaminated by Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and hence contributing to human security.
Indeed, armed conflict in Mali has created a problem of explosive contamination which is impacting the civilian population and stabilization efforts. This impact includes the potential loss of life and injury of people within affected communities but also the safe return of refugees and internally displaced people. Since March 2012, 80 civilian ERW casualties have been recorded in Mali, of which more than half are children. Explosive contamination is also adversely affecting livelihoods, freedom of movement and economic recovery, as well as the safe deployment of national and international forces and extension of state authority.
At the request of the United Nations, Schonstedt deployed 35 donated magnetic locators to UN-supported humanitarian demining teams operating in Mali. The requirement for mine clearance activity stemmed from recent conflicts in that country. The instruments were provided through the Schonstedt Humanitarian Demining Initiative.
More on SHDI here.