A program to remove unexploded ordnance (UXO) and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in and around the city of Mosul could cost $50 million, UN officials have said.
The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) had previously estimated costs for Iraq as a whole at $50 million this year, but said this could double because of Mosul.
Paul Heslop, chief of UNMAS program planning and management section stated that as a result of the assessed contamination in Mosul we will need $50 million for the city alone in addition to $50 million for the rest of the country.
Heslop stated that “clearing urban areas of contamination is more complex and dangerous than minefields. You need a higher level of technical skill and complex equipment and it’s slower. As areas are liberated, you get a better idea of the level of contamination.”
Heslop added that Iraq needs an Afghanistan-style (demining) operation, which at its peak about five years ago consisted of around 15,000 people.