Landmine clearing

Yahoo! News: “[Kiyoshi Amemiya] is the inventor of the country’s first anti-personnel landmine disposal machine, and is helping clear the deadly invisible enemy from Afghanistan to Nicaragua.” [via WorldChanging]

The story goes on to say:

“It is 100 times faster than removing landmines by hand,” he said, adding it cost the company 100 million yen (943,000 US dollars) to develop the machine.

Amemiya has donated a total of 36 machines to Afghanistan, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Thailand and Vietnam through the United Nations and local non-governmental organizations, paid for with profits from the company’s commercial operations.

That’s excellent. But I can’t pass up the opportunity – towards the end of the article it reads:

Amemiya said, adding his next goal was to create a machine that clears unexploded ordnance.

He said some 10 to 20 percent of bombs dropped are estimated to have failed to explode.

Omitted was the tidbit that most of that unexploded ordnance is a result of the US military’s use of cluster bombs. And the US government has still not signed the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty.