Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Mine Kafun — An Amazing Invention That Could Save Lives And Make the World a Safer Place

Mine Kafon | Callum Cooper from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

We all know that life can be cruel, but few things in this world are crueller than landmines that can indiscriminately maim or kill innocent civilians, young or old, decades after they’ve been planted. If ever you needed proof of human foolishness, you only have to think about the countless hidden landmines still buried in different parts of the world, perhaps long forgotten by the people who planted them, but still as capable as ever of maiming or killing unsuspecting victims.

Sadly, mines continue even today to be very much a real threat. In Afghanistan, it is reported that roughly one million people live within 500 meters (about 1/3 mile) of areas suspected of containing land mines and that more than 40 people each month lose their lives to these concealed but deadly contraptions. The tragic, needless loss of life is truly horrifying to think about. But now, there’s a new device that may make a huge difference in improving the situation. It’s called the Mine Kafun, and don’t let its somewhat futuristic yet simple appearance deceive you — this gadget could be a very effective and inexpensive weapon in mankind’s efforts to rid the world of landmines.

The Mine Kafun, still in its prototype stage, is a creation of Afghanistan-born designer Massoud Hassin. The body is made from biodegradable plastic and bamboo, and it costs just about 40 Euros ($53) each to make. Considering that clearing a single landmine using conventional methods costs more than $10,000, you can see how from a cost point-of-view alone the device holds enormous potential.