Japanese government grant supports halo’s transformational work in Georgia
The HALO Trust has been awarded a grant of $400,000 USD from the Government of Japan to support the clearance of unexploded ordnance in Georgia, allowing over 585,000 square metres of land to be made safe.
The villages of Dvani and Dzevera are located in the Shida Kartli region of Georgia, both were littered with explosives during the Russo-Georgian War. Dvani village is home to 763 people and during the fighting it is thought hand grenades activated by trip wires were laid as booby traps around the church and cemetery. Residents visit this area every day, the generous support of the Japanese Government means HALO can make it safe so people can visit freely.
Further east lies Dzevera village, home to just over 1000 people. During the war, two trucks loaded with explosives caught fire and blew up, scattering dangerous ordnance far and wide. The risk of accidents is high as local people need to use the land to forage and collect firewood or graze their animals. The grant will allow HALO to bring in specialist machines to clear the land so people can tend their livestock and gather food without fear.
The village of Anaklia in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region of Georgia was bombed by a Russian aircraft in 2008. One of the bombs failed to explode and remains buried in the ground just 300 metres from nearby houses and a youth camp, visited by 400 children every summer. HALO will now be able to bring a mechanical clearance team to excavate and remove the threat.
Thanks to the grant assistance of the Japanese Government, HALO will be able to employ and train 21 local staff and clear an area of land equivalent to over 100 football pitches. Communities, who have lived with the legacy of war for the past decade, will have a future free from fear. Farms and orchards can flourish and children play safely.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Georgia Mr. Tadaharu UEHARA said:
"These projects serve very important purposes and I truly hope that they will contribute to the improvement of the well-being of citizens of Georgia. In closing, I would like to mention that the grants for these projects come from Japanese people. I would be grateful if you occasionally remember the goodwill of the ordinary people of Japan and try to make the best use of these projects. Thank you very much."