Bombs away
Amarah, Iraq
by Jenny Mero, FORTUNE Magazine

(FORTUNE Magazine) - For Champion Madaba, an ordnance remover from Zimbabwe, finding work isn't a problem. There are tens of millions of landmines and unexploded bombs scattered across the globe that maim or kill an estimated 20,000 people a year. Iraq has a high concentration of embedded ordnance left behind by World War II, a war with Iran in the 1980s, and two U.S. invasions.

In 2003 the United Nations hired MineTech, the Zimbabwean company that employs Madaba, to unearth explosives in the southern part of the country. Over the next two years the company removed more than 184,000 explosive devices to clean up the area so that shelters for displaced Iraqis could be built there. "Each day brings a different situation," says Madaba, who has since moved on to Laos, where there's plenty more work to be done. Top of page