Impact of land mines on the Mazar-i-Sharif railway project

The report The Humanitarian and Developmental Impact of Anti-Vehicle Mines (PDF) discusses the problems land mines caused for the Hairatan – Mazar-i-Sharif railway construction project:

Late into the execution of the project, [anti-vehicle mines, anti-personnel mines and explosive remnants of war] were discovered. The initial assessment revealed a 3 sq km area of contamination at an estimated cost of USD 3 million to clear, which came close to matching Afghanistan’s national contribution to the project.

This pattern has been repeated in other infrastructure development projects, particularly with AVMs due their low detectability in Afghanistan. MACCA contacted development projects throughout the country in 2013 and found that a number were in hazardous areas. Out of 430 registered development projects in Afghanistan (roads, bridges, dams, rail, agriculture, electricity expansion), 71 of these projects are affected by mines and ERW, and at least 21 are heavily affected by AT mines, consisting of roughly 225 square kilometres of land.

As a result, MACCA actively encourages a sustainable and continuous process in communication with the development sector; otherwise, as in the case of the railway project, the country suffers huge financial losses that it cannot afford.

Source: The Humanitarian and Developmental Impact of Anti-Vehicle Mines, Geneva International Centre For Humanitarian Demining and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, September 2014, pages 63-64)

On pages 64-65 the report discusses the impact of mines (of the explosive variety) on the Aynak copper mining project.

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