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More Bang for Their Buck: Enhancing the Sustainability of Surplus Ammunition Destruction Programs

Release date: 2019-07

Dealing with stockpiles of surplus ammunition remains a key challenge for many African countries. In the last 10 years, at least 38 ammunition sites across Africa reportedly experienced unplanned explosions, causing injury and loss of life as well as significant damage to infrastructure and the environment. Numerous reasons such as overstocking, inadequate storage facilities due to insufficient resources, inadequate capabilities of storage sites, or simply unstable ammunition may be the cause of these unplanned detonations. These factors are often exacerbated by personnel having a limited knowledge and awareness, or insufficient training on relevant subjects such as explosive compatibility groups or ammunition life cycles. Regardless of the reasons outlined previously, the destruction of surplus and/or deteriorating ammunition is required as part of a general physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) regime, in particular to reduce the risk of unplanned explosions at ammunitions sites (UEMS).

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