Throughout the 19 month-operational period, all MRCT project staffs worked synergistically and systematically to achieve the main project objectives. They all could make slightly better than what had been targeted or expected. At the end of the project on October 2015, approximately 2,445,513 sq. m. were cleared and returned to local communities, compared with original targeted area of 2,420,000 sq. m. Apart from targeted contaminated area of CHA 387-01, one more real minefield with exact boundary DHA 397-01-1 were also cleared that can assure no more accident in the proximity of MRCT project.
In the beginning, TDA had expected that about 500 dangerous items of landmines, UXO, and other ERW would had been found. Throughout the hard and pain taking works of project staffs especially deminers, to the end of MRCT project, 2,729 items of dangerous object, were found, marked, and put to the EOD processes by the assistances graciously made by HMAU-3 under TMAC guidance. Of those items, 1,440 were landmine (70% were functional), while 373 items, 217 items, 692 item, am 7 items were Rocket (including RPG), Grenade, Mortar, and Artillery Projectile respectively, and were estimated 30% functional.
Interesting records have been made by the MRCT project; one deminer can clear dangerous area about 954 sq. m. per day; USD of 0.19 is spent for clearance of 1 sq. m.; and USD 173 are spent for one dangerous item.
Three workshops were organized throughout the project periods. Best practices and lesson learned gained from the MRCT project and other workshop participants were summarized and included in reports that later were disseminated to local clearance units and ASEAN countries with similar landmine problems. They were: Lao PDA, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Three MRCT project’s steering committee meeting were conducted in order that members-Representative from JAPAN, Thai MFA, TMAC, and TDA Advisors-could make their valuable suggestion and recommendation to steer project in right course in the most effective ways. Other external also visited and supervised the project. All field staffs worked with most carefulness according to NMAS, TDA SOP and all valuable suggestions provided by all related parties. The best reward, apart from what have been achieved as already mentioned, is no accident happened to field staffs at all.
Safe areas of 2,445,513.49 sq. m. returned by the MRCT Project have been fully utilized by local villagers and concerned officers such as forest protection officers. Rather than villagers in nearby communities, other people living as far as 200 kilometers away also come in group (in their pick-up car) to the area during mushroom season to collect and sell valuable mushrooms. One family can make as much as 20,000 Thai Baht per month in some seasons that particular forest product grows.
The humanitarian landmine clearance operations of the MRCT Project had drawn immense attentions of many Thai Medias such as TV Channel 9, Channel 7, Channel 5, PPTV, and many others. Approximately 18 publishing articles relating to MRCT Project were found in newspaper and websites. About 11 special scoops on MRCT Project were on aired.
On behalf of the Thai Civilian Deminer Association (TDA), I would like to take this opportunity to express sincere thanks and high gratitude to the Japanese government and her people for the financial support of USD 473,055.96 made via JAIF to the MRCT landmine clearance project executed by TDA that has cleared 2,445,513 sq. m. of land in border area of Surin province, Thailand. Particular thanks are also given to Mr. Takanori HATTORI in Japanese Embassy in Thailand, and to Japanese delegates appointed to work in ASEAN headquarters; all of them kindly have dedicatedly assisted the MRCT Project. TDA also thanks ASEAN Secretariat for kind consideration of our project proposal and arrangement of fund remittance that could inaugurate the project. Local people living in the proximity of project area have been returned with safe areas for their daily living lives.
Our special thanks are humbly conveyed to the Department of International Organization, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Thai MFA) which has appointed gracious, competent and dedicated officers to assist and guide the project from beginning till the completion. TDA also thank TMAC for continuous support, excellent collaboration, and facilities in TMAC building that allowed MRCT project to operate smoothly. HMAU-3 is also received our high appreciation and sincere thanks for excellent collaboration and assistance in EOD on 2,729 dangerous items found by the project. TDA thanks Ratchaburi Deminer Training School for training assistance. Many thanks are given to all project staffs especially deminers for their so hard works with utmost carefulness that no accident at all is recorded. TDA also thanks those that whose names are not mentioned here, who have heartedly assisted, guided, advised the project.