Zimbabwe's minefields were laid between 1974 and 1979 by the former Rhodesian regime during the country's Liberation War. In places three anti-personnel mines were laid every metre. Sometimes up to 5,500 mines were laid every kilometre. For decades they have threatened the lives and livelihoods of local families. Children cross through the mines to get to school, water supplies are cut off, valuable livestock is killed every day and parents can't cultivate their land or put food on the table because of the threat of mines.
Since 2013 The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA) has been supporting HALO's work in Zimbabwe, making land safe and transforming the lives of local communities. This funding supports the employment of local women and men by HALO who dedicate themselves to clearing the mines that threaten their country. Safe land can be returned to villages, health clinics have been built on former minefields—providing essential services in remote areas—and children can walk to school without risking their lives.
PM/WRA funding has cleared 40,000 mines and made 3.9km square (964 acres) of land safe.