June 12, 2017
Helping to clear landmines in war-torn countries is certainly not for the faint-hearted.
But as a risk and safety expert Jonathan Smith has plenty of experience of being in potentially dangerous situations.
The 51-year-old has travelled to countries including Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan to help on mine clearance projects, which also educate communities about the threats unexploded ordnance pose.
His work includes identifying any risks such as transport to the minefields and the way controlled explosions are carried out.
He said: “In 2010, I was invited to learn about the work of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), which helps to de-mine some of the world’s most challenging areas.
“I made my first visit to Iraq in 2011 and have also been back to the area since. During this time, I have met many victims of uncontrolled detonations of mines and unexploded ordinance. It makes you realise how lucky you are when you see such things in war-torn countries.
“My job was not only to critically assess the way they de-mine but holistically from the perspectives of security, transport and welfare.
“I am there to identify potential residual risks and to control them accordingly.”
Later this year he will be heading out to Uganda, Ethiopia and Malawi to work with Greater Manchester Police and the children’s charity Retrak. He will also be joined by his 21-year-old daughter Rosalea.
Source: Express & Star