From: Witness

Picking up the pieces

A female de-mining team clears Sri Lankan villages of all the deadly traces of war.

Filmmaker: Yasir Khan; Cameraman: Fadi Benni

Clearing the thousands of mines left in the war-torn villages of Sri-Lanka is a dangerous and demanding job for those that have been assigned with the responsibility of doing it.

The all-female de-mining team of Sri Lanka’s northern Mannar district struggles in the blazing heat to navigate the hazardous task at hand and systematically clear the villages of all the traces of war that remain in a place long after the conflict itself has passed.

Following the women we witness the excitement and fear each time a mine is found and get to see how many of the women take the job to support their families, due to the cruel brunt of war leaving them as the sole breadwinners.

They clear the villages of landmines not simply because it is their job, but because they are are all personally involved, each with their own losses and tales of hardship and are keen to finish the job so that people can move back home from refugee camps and begin to live in peace again.

Picking up the pieces can be seen from Tuesday, May 10, at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2230; Wednesday: 0930; Thursday: 0330; Friday: 1630; Saturday: 2230; Sunday: 0930; Monday: 0330; Tuesday: 1630.