A sign, in English and Khmer, sits waiting to be used to warn people of an area that has not been cleared of landmines.
A member of the CSHD team walks away from an area she was clearing for the night. Villages are chosen on a case by case basis.
In the fall of 2009 I headed to Siem Reap, Cambodia to work on a number of personal projects. One of those was photographing the lives of those that clear landmines. It's estimated that somewhere between 4 to 6 million landmines and other types of ordnance (hand grenades to rockets to carpet bombs) remain throughout the country as a result of two separate wars.
Going out with the fully-Khmer run Cambodia Self Help Demining (CSHD) allowed for the opportunity to see the local NGO in action. Often those in rural parts of the country are left waiting for the help of organizations like CSHD; all the while trying to live, farm, and move on with their lives long after the fighting has ended.
A member of the CSHD team prepares for a controlled detonation of a landmine.
A landmine is detonated from a safe distance. All those in the area were given warning prior to explosion.
A German S-mine, also known as a "Bouncing Betty" is found on a bike path. The landmine had been in the ground since the 1970s.
Aki-Ra, the head of CSHD, evaluates the situation. Areas are cleared one square meter at a time.
Camp for the CSHD consists of hammocks.
Locals near the minefield set up a small fire and cook their evening meal.
The team gathers their equipment.
Aki Ra prepares C4 to be used for a controlled detonation of several found unexploded ordnances.
Brush is gathered to help dampen the explosion.
A metal detector is used after an controlled explosion to make sure all shrapnel is found.
CSHD team members head back into camp after going to town for supplies.
Dinner, which consists of fish and rice, is prepared over an open fire.
Sun sets over the village of Tro Tpeagtoeum. The village, at the time this photograph was taken, was still dealing with landmine accidents as a result of two wars.
The CSHD team heads into the minefield. Depending on weather and conditions it can take several months to help clear a village.