The HALO Trust has launched the 100 Women in Demining in Angola project to re-invigorate mine clearance operations in Angola, whilst simultaneously providing skills, training and salaries to women living in rural areas. Dramatic cuts in funding for demining in Angola since 2008 mean that HALO has been forced to reduce its number of national staff from 1,100 to just 300 during the same period. This despite the fact that Angola remains one of the most densely mined countries in the world, with up to an estimated 500,000 landmines still waiting to be cleared. This reduction in HALO staff led to the closure of demining operations in Benguela Province, one of the most mine-impacted areas in the country where at least six people are already known to have been killed by explosive remnants of war in 2017 alone. The vast majority of such devices, designed to indiscriminately maim or kill, are found in rural areas where development has often stagnated, unemployment is high and people are reliant upon the land for the subsistence activities that support them and their families.
The 100 Women in Demining in Angola project will not only increase human resources to facilitate humanitarian mine clearance, but will also provide local women with new knowledge, skills, and career development opportunities in areas where they have traditionally struggled to gain employment. With the majority of female recruits coming directly from the heavily mine-impacted districts of Balombo and Bocoio, the project will also provide these women with a central role in the stabilization and development of their communities. By increasing their presence and voice in mine clearance in Angola, they will be permitted to actively shape positive outcomes for themselves, their communities and their country as a whole.
The total cost of one year of demining operations in Benguela is $1,500,000, enabling HALO to:
- TRAIN and EMPLOY female deminers to clear some of the most dangerous minefields in the country for a period of 12 months
- PROTECT, EQUIP, INSURE and TRANSPORT deminers during minefield clearance operations
- Provide NEW SKILLS, ESSENTIAL INCOME, and platforms for SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT for Angolan women
- Assist in creating safe spaces for RURAL DEVELOPMENT that benefits mine-impacted populations
HALO Angola is committed to ensuring greater gender equality amongst its workforce. Therefore, recruitment for the 100 Women in Demining in Angola project is not restricted to operational staff working in the minefield, but also for roles across all departments and at all management levels of the programme. Through this process, HALO Angola is seeking to ensure that both men and women have equal representation, voice and opportunities within the organization.
THE PROJECT WILL EMPLOY:
- 64 Deminers (including 16 with medical training) to conduct manual mine clearance with metal detectors
- 8 Team Leaders and 4 Minefield Supervisors, trained to manage teams of deminers and direct daily mine clearance operation
- 1 Provincial Operations Manager (POM) and 1 Assistant Provincial Operations Manager (APOM) to routinely inspect mine clearance operations to guarantee that work is conducted in a safe and efficient manner.
- 7 Mechanics and Drivers to transport deminers, supplies and equipment to the field, and ensure that vehicles are well serviced, repaired and maintained.
- 15 Support Staff to meet the logistical, medical, technical and administrative needs of operational staff working on minefields in Benguela Province.