National Geographic : 2012 Jan
' mines and 32 unexploded ordnance. "Now we can walk safely to the rice elds and work freely without fear of mines," Khiev says. Tossing his grandson in the air, he adds, "It's safe for little children. If they want to swim in the river, in the lake, they can." As villages and rice paddies like Prey Pros have been cleared, Cambodia's economy has grown stronger. In 1999, the rst full year of peace, Cambodia had a gross national income (GNI) of $10 billion and a per capita annual in- come of $820; 11 years later, in 2010, the GNI had almost tripled to $29 billion, and personal income had more than doubled to $2,040. Since 1992 demining has cleared about 270 square miles, but there are still some 250 square miles of contaminated land le . Currently, 23 to 31 square miles are cleared a year, which means it will take another decade to rid Cambodia of mines and other explosives---a goal that has been achieved in less heavily mined countries like El Salvador, Honduras, and Albania. "We simply cannot clear them fast enough," Franklin says. are still busy, Cambo- dia is no longer a devastated nation. Cities and villages throb with industriousness. "We have a future now," says San Mao. Short and muscled, Mao is an elite run- ner. He rises at four o'clock every morning to train, threading five miles through the wet, black streets of Phnom Penh. An hour later, a er changing his curved berglass prosthe- sis for a rubber foot, he goes to work, whiz- zing around town as a motorcycle taxi driver. At 14, Getu lost his le foot and had his right leg shattered by a mine while herding cows in Myanmar. Four months later, a er infection set in, he was taken to Mae Sot Hospital (le ) in ailand for treatment. In a sign of Cambodia's renewal, a villager from Sneung (above) ventures into a recently cleared marsh to sh, once a life-threatening pursuit.