Imagine this, you set out for your well-earned holiday on a pristine Pacific Island, only to find that thousands of unexploded bombs litter the area, threatening the lives of both holidaymakers and locals. Enter a husband and wife team, backed by their dedicated staff, determined to rid the island of this deadly legacy.
The beautiful sandy beaches and blue seas of the Pacific islands of Palau reveal little at first glance about the bloody battle between the US and the Japanese that took place there in the Second World War.
But in fact the legacy of the fighting is hidden everywhere, with thousands of unexploded bombs and grenades lost in the undergrowth and hidden in caves.
David Brill reports on the effort to find and remove them… 23,000 explosives have already been cleared in the past three years.
Not only are the bombs potentially lethal to locals and the huge number of tourists, they’re also corroding and leaking acid into the islands’ pristine waters.
It’s a hazardous race against time to remove them, but also an opportunity to remember what happened on the now peaceful islands nearly 70 years ago. The Australian Government’s AusAID is among those funding the demining in Palau, with a contribution of $4.4 million.