CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

In a hot, dry field on the outskirts of Huambo, Angola, women are learning the dangerous job of removing land mines. 

This training facility is part of the Halo Trust's "100 Women in Demining" program, which aims to boost mine clearance while adding female deminers, medics, drivers and mechanics in Angola. 

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Although this is a mock minefield used purely for training, everything here is treated as if it were real. 

All rules are followed by the book. Safety gear is worn at all times. 

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

The training camp's facilities include canvas tents for sleeping, a common area, a kitchen and storage units made from shipping containers.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Demining is tedious and meticulous work -- often in thick brush -- as workers slowly scrape away the soil, centimeter by centimeter. 

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Deminers must first clear away any brush before they can even begin to use their metal detectors, which must be as close as possible to the ground. 

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Ralph Legg, a location manager of the Halo Trust, goes through proper demining technique with a new trainee. 

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

A trainee works under the hot sun in Huambo, Angola.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

A trainee calibrates her solar-powered metal detector. 

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

A young trainee follows the same rigorous procedures she would use in a real minefield. 

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Metal detectors require frequent calibration.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Following meter-wide lanes, deminers move forward a few inches at a time, scanning the ground with metal detectors as they go.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

It's safer to excavate mines from the side, where there's less risk of detonation.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Workers get a 10 minute break every half hour.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

An estimated 1 million land mines were buried during Angola's 27-year civil war.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Clearing mines is a painstakingly low-tech affair. The tools include a metal detector, a weed wacker and a meter-long stick.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

A trainee marks out a new line to follow. Red-tipped sticks stake out a boundary between safe ground and live mines.  

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Another trainee measures a lane to be cleared.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

To make sure deminers stay safe, the Halo Trust continually reinforces strict procedures and protocols so that trainees never lose sight of proper technique.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

After completing the monthlong training course, the women must pass a written exam and a field test before they can officially become deminers.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Up Next
How birding looks with today's tech...
35