Meet Massoud Hassani, a product designer who comes from Kabul. During his childhood he used to make toys that made use of wind to function. The reason was simple; there was plenty of wind and many wide patches of flat land where he lived. Now a decade later, he is working in Netherlands as a product designer with one goal; to make his homeland safer and to get rid of the landmines that are laid across his native land.
Many people in Kabul curse the landmines because a lot of them have lost their family and friends to these silent killers. The official numbers say that there are about ten million landmines in Afghanistan but Massoud feels that this is a very low estimate of the actual number of mines present. A single landmine costs around $1200 and Massoud’s method of getting rid of them costs around forty euros only.
The landmine detector which Massoud has come up with relies on wind for its power and works in quite a simple way. It rolls over in a minefield in order to find and detonate any stray mines which are still left from the previous battles. The ‘Mine Kafon’ has several legs which spoke out from a central hub that is attached to the discs at the end in order to facilitate rolling. When this detector rolls on a landmine and the detonation takes place only a few of these legs are damaged. Owing to its modular construction, Massoud is hopeful that each detector can remove 3, 4 mines on one journey in a desert.
It is built using bamboo and plastics which are biodegradable. The detector comes with a GPS chip that allows its path to be tracked. A Kickstarter campaign is underway to come up with enough funding to refine and test this detector in Kabul desert minefields. The ultimate goal is to make the citizens of Afghanistan able to construct this detector on their own and save themselves from the mines.