Sri Lanka

Caterpillar D8 Heavy Roller Machine to Speed up the Demining in the North of Sri Lanka

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"Our main objective is to expedite mine clearance for early resettlement of IDPs in Sri Lanka," said Mr. Nigel Robinson, Programme Manager for FSD in Sri Lanka addressing the ceremony to launch the Caterpillar D8 armored bulldozer at the State Engineering Corporation in Peliyagoda on Wednesday 25th November, 2009.

Emphasizing the need for a heavy roller machine to help clear landmines, Mr. Robinson extended thanks to the U.S. government for its continued support to FSD demining operations. The Secretary to the Ministry of Nation Building, Mr. Kumarasiri, stressed the importance of clearing landmines to enable the speedy recovery of IDPs in the North of the country.

This heavy D8 Caterpillar is a rare model which has been used for large Mahaweli projects in Sri Lanka. FSD purchased a reconditioned caterpillar from a local construction company and designed the heavy roller attachments that have been fitted to the front and rear of the machine. The rollers were manufactured by the State Engineering Corporation of Sri Lanka and protection for the driver was achieved with the help of a local manufacturing company, Harsha International Pvt Ltd, who fitted composite panels to the cab.

The D8 Heavy Roller system is due to be deployed in the field from December 2009. "We are certain that this machine will significantly improve our clearance capacity in cooperation with our existing assets," said Mr. Nigel Robinson in his closing remarks.