Republic of Palau Project
Cleared Ground has removed and destroyed 8,496 items of Explosive Remnants of War since it commenced clearance operations in September 2009. Our work is taking place across the whole of The Republic of Palau both on land and in the sea, allowing both agriculture and development to take place as well as enhancing the security of the population and visitors. In addition our work provides an important source of income for our national staff.
Following an initial in country reconnaissance in May 2009, Cleared Ground Demining commenced an Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) / UXO Removal and destruction project in The Republic of Palau on 15th September 2009 to mark the 65th Anniversary of The Battle of Peleliu – one of the bloodiest battles of the South Pacific campaign in World War II. This project has been made possible thanks to a grant award from the Weapons Removal and Abatement Office, Department of State, United States of America.
Scope of Project
The project is based on two of the Southern Islands of The Republic of Palau, Peleliu and Angaur. The aim of the project is "to reduce the immediate risk of ERW on local communities and tourists."
Achievements to Date
Cleared Ground conducted a community survey on the Island of Peleliu which established that 31.2% of households had ERW / UXO on their property or within property used by the community e.g. The Peleliu Elementary School and the community meeting house. Items included hand grenades, mortars, projectiles and rockets. Cleared Ground prioritised the removal and destruction of these items and has now focused its operations on former battlefields, landing beaches and the limited agricultural land that is available for growing crops.
Within the former battlefield on Peleliu a small stockpile of Anti personnel landmines was located in a cave system that also contained artefacts. Extensive work was carried out to remove the landmines, containing crystallised picric acid explosive, to the demolitions range so as not to have to destroy in situ and disturb the artefacts.
A considerable amount of work has also been done in removing unsafe items of ordnance from Battlefield memorials, shrines and tourist attractions as Palau is a major South Pacific tourist destination.
Cleared Ground is currently training national staff in data collection, risk awareness and battle area clearance as part of its Palau capacity building goals.
Thanks to our supporters
Cleared Ground Demining would like to thank its donors for making our valuable work in Palau possible:
British Embassy, Manila
Federal Republic of Germany
Italian Embassy, Manila
New Zealand Aid
United States of America, PMWRA