APOPO uses trained rats to detect landmines. So far, it has cleared almost 2,000,000 m2 for farming.
Trafigura Foundation is proud to support APOPO’s ingenious mine action project, which uses African Giant Rats to detect landmines in former war zones. Phase one (2012-2015) achieved its goal to have no confirmed hazardous areas in the Malanje province, Angola, releasing 1,800,000 m2 for farming and benefitting almost 115,000 people.
Phase two aims to replicate these excellent results in the Zaire province. It started in September 2015, in northwest Angola where 27 mine detection rats are on site ‘accredited and ready for operations’. The rat handlers have been identified and trained and the mine detection rat teams are said to be on top form, getting solid results. The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining has even used Angola as a case study. APOPO’s work in 2016 is said to have directly benefited 6,741 people. Their work is vital in these landmine-affected areas where people live off farming but lack safe access to land for agriculture, housing and infrastructure. Villages are expanding and local communities need more land.
APOPO’s furry friends, the manual de-miners, together with the demining machine for ground preparation, are gradually making Angola a safe place to live again.