The Cambodian Mine Action Center, the government’s demining agency, is transferring its core staffers from province to province as part of its planned administrative reform, CMAC Director General Khem Sophoan said on Sunday.
At least six demining-unit managers are being transferred in a measure meant to keep up the center’s efficiency, Khem Sophoan said.
“If they are assigned to work in one place for too long, the atmosphere will become boring,” he said.
Transfers of all key staff began in February, when financial and logistical officers began to be moved to new provinces. Demining-unit officers for Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Pailin and Kompong Chhnang were transferred in September, with Pursat, Kompong Thom and Siem Reap scheduled for transfer in November, he said.
The transfers are to be made every three years under the center’s reform plan, which grew out of the 1999 financial scandals that nearly spelled the death of CMAC.
In 1999, a report by the auditing firm KPMG finding financial mismanagement was just the biggest of many accusations of corruption and incompetence leveled at CMAC. Donor countries responded by freezing or withdrawing millions of dollars.
CMAC also plans to increase its Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams from 16 to 25 by next year, since more villagers, especially children, are now being killed and maimed by unexploded ordnance than by mines.
These casualties usually result from local villagers picking up UXOs, hoping to sell them to scrap-metal dealers, or from farmers clearing land and disturbing buried UXOs, Khem Sophoan said.
Of the mine and UXO casualties in June, for example, 54 percent were UXO related, while only 46 percent were caused by mines, he said.