DUSHANBE, January 27, 2012, Asia-Plus -- The ceremony of successful accomplishment of the humanitarian mine clearance project, “The Project of Mechanical Demining Activities in Tajikistan” supported by the Government of Japan and signing a new similar project, “The Project for Support to Mechanical Demining Activities in Tajikistan” for 2012 was conducted in the Mine Detecting Dog’s Centre (MDDC) located in Sharaf village, Roudaki district on January 26, the Embassy of Japan in Dushanbe said.

Representatives from various ministries and other national entities, diplomatic missions and the international organizations as well as from the NGOs and local media attended the ceremony.

Mr. Hiroyuki Imahashi, Ambassador of Japan to Tajikistan and Mr. Hartmut Thoms, the Country Director of the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) in Tajikistan discussed the needs for making the lands free of mines and unexploded ordnances (UXO) as well as the importance of the further support and international cooperation in this field.

The mine clearance activities in Tajikistan were conducted between 2010-2011 using the special mine clearance machine (MV-4) including its entire operational cost with the total amount of USD 726,059 which was provided by the Government of Japan through Japanese Grant Assistance for the Grass–roots Human Security Projects (GGP).  The FSD in Tajikistan was involved in the implementation of this project and successfully completed its tasks.  The FSD mine clearance teams were able to clear 743 000 m2 of mine contaminated land and as a result 290 landmines were identified and destroyed along the Tajik-Afghan border in Panj and Shouroobod districts of Khatlon province, and Darvoz district in Gorno Badakhshan.

The same day, the Ambassador of Japan and the FSD Country Director signed the new grant contract on supporting the humanitarian mine clearance activities in 2012 with the total amount of 212,892 U.S. dollars.

The new project is aimed at promoting human security along the Tajik-Afghan border in Panj, Farkhor, Hamadoni, Shouroobod and Shahritous districts in Khatlon province, and the Darvoz district in Gorno Badakhshan.

The de-mining teams demonstrated to the guests their mine clearance experiences using the mine detecting dogs, mine clearance machine and all other necessary assets and tools.

The guests were introduced to the Mine Risk Education and Victim Assistance programs as well as to other activities related against the landmines and UXOs in country.

Since the beginning of the Tajikistan Mine Action Program, the Government of Japan has financially supported the program with the total amount of US$1.557 million.

Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects (GGP) is provided to local governments, educational/ medical institutions and International NGOs in developing countries. GGP supports projects in the human security sectors at the grassroots level.  GGP has extended more than US$21 million for 281 projects in Tajikistan since 1996.