National Mine Action Centre to improve capacity of Government on mine action

30 Jul 2010

On 14th July 2010, at a cabinet meeting held in Killinochchi, approval was granted by the Government for the legalizing of the National Mine Action Centre (NMAC) for Sri Lanka, under the Ministry of Economic Development. Cabinet’s endorsement of the NMAC is an important step towards complete national ownership and responsibility of the management and coordination of mine action in Sri Lanka. Commenting on the formal legalization of the NMAC, Mr. Nihal Somaweera- Additional Secretary –Ministry of Economic Development states that, “We are now in the process of drawing up a ten year plan to see the country free of land mines and explosive remnants of war and the legalization of the National Mine Action Centre (NMAC) as a national body to coordinate and monitor all mine action operations in the country, is an important step towards achieving this goal”. Adding to this, UNDP Country Director Douglas Keh says, “This is a big step forward that exemplifies UNDP’s role in supporting the Government to develop its capacity on mine action.”
The fully functional NMAC will be comprised of the following:
• A management unit;
• An operations unit for planning and tasking;
• Mine risk education and victim assistance units;
• A quality management (QM) unit;
• An information management and technology unit,
• An administration unit responsible for personnel, logistics, and finance; 
• A public information unit.
• Regional/District Offices in the mine contaminated districts of Sri Lanka
Responsibilities of the NMAC:
• Liaising with government authorities, and humanitarian and development agencies to determine the priorities for mine action, as well as the plans to address these priorities;
• Establishing an information management system, collecting and analyzing data, and  managing and disseminating mine action information;
• Preparing a national mine action strategic plans (vision, mission, goals and objectives) with the input of all stakeholders, which is in line with national recovery, reconstruction and development plans.
• Developing an annual work plan to support the strategic plan;
• Setting criteria for mine action priorities;
• Accrediting mine action operators, tasking and monitoring mine action activities;
• Drafting and adopting national mine action standards; and
• Acting as the secretariat for the NMAA.