19:06 23.02.2024

Ministry of Economy identifies three key indicators of cost of mine clearance

4 min read
Ministry of Economy identifies three key indicators of cost of mine clearance

 The presence of vegetation, the degree of contamination of the site and the type of soil – these are the key indicators that determine the cost of demining farmland, identified by the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, Deputy Minister Ihor Bezkaravainy said at the Ukraine-Poland conference on demining, organized by the Polish Investment & Trade Agency at the embassy of Poland in Ukraine this week.

"The biggest problem at this stage is pricing. We are starting to develop a model for calculating the cost of work. We have identified three indicators that will affect the cost of work: the presence of vegetation, the degree of contamination of the site and the type of soil," said the Deputy Minister of Economy.

According to him, another important issue is the creation of a transparent, scientifically based system of priority for demining areas. "We need a model by which we will determine which territory will be demined first, which will be second and third. It may be that among two similar areas, one will be cleared quickly, and the other, perhaps never – for extremely high levels of pollution," Bezkaravainy said at the conference of the Polish Investment & Trade Agency.

He said that today, there are 3,500 bomb disposal engineers working in Ukraine, which is not enough for mine clearance. "This is very little. No one in the world can yet estimate how much is needed. We need specialists both in inspection and those who can move and destroy explosive objects," the deputy minister said.

According to him, demining the completely destroyed Bakhmut or Maryinka will be carried out by the state, taking into account the complexity of the work.

According to Yevhen Zubarevsky, deputy head of the information management department of the Department of Environmental Safety and Mine Action of the Ministry of Defense, in some places the mining density reaches 2.5 mines per square meter.

"After the territories are liberated, the disposal of explosive objects will be carried out by units of the Security and Defense Forces," Zubarevsky said.

According to him, since February 2022, 6 million citizens of Ukraine have been affected by contamination with explosive objects. There were 611 explosions in civilian areas, resulting in 281 deaths and 600 injuries. Half of the incidents occurred in Kharkiv, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, 75% of the incidents were caused by mines.

"The process of mine clearance and restoration will be extremely difficult and lengthy, and it needs to start already... Where we can develop cooperation, we need to develop it. Together we can do much more," Polish Ambassador to Ukraine Jarosław Guzy said.

Business Development Manager of the Polish Investment & Trade Agency Tetiana Chuzha said that several dozen Polish companies with relevant experience have shown interest in participating in the demining process and view demining as the first step towards recovery.

In matters of humanitarian demining, several important decisions are expected to be made at a meeting of the Polish-Ukrainian intergovernmental commission, which will be held in March 2024, said Aleksander Siemaszko, Director of the Department for International Cooperation and Trade of the Ministry of Economic Development of Poland.

As reported, according to World Bank estimates, the cost of demining the territory of Ukraine could reach $37.4 billion. As of October 2023, Ukraine has raised about $500 million for demining Ukraine from European countries. An area of 174,000 square kilometers is considered to be a potentially contaminated area, of which 18,000 square kilometers were returned to use over the past year.

The number of certified demining operators in 2023 increased from six to 30, with another 50 operators awaiting certification in 2024. Mine clearance work is carried out by 58 special vehicles, including 33 used by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. By the end of the year, another 100 mine clearance vehicles are expected to be delivered to Ukraine.