Living with landmines is a harsh reality for many in the Rushinga District of north-eastern Zimbabwe. Godfrey is a 36-year-old father of two and lives in Musanzikwa village. Family is the most important thing in his life. He works tirelessly to put food on the table. But living next to a minefield has made providing for his wife and children a very difficult and dangerous task. It has restricted him from expanding his farm to meet their growing needs, forcing him into a life of subsistence farming.
“It was always my wish to have a big farm, unfortunately, there were just too many landmines. There was not enough cleared land for everyone. That is why we had to settle close to a minefield.”
Following clearance work, in 2022 Godfrey and his family were able to extend the farm into safe land. They have even been able to start growing groundnuts, cotton and sorghum—a type of grain. Godfrey estimates their produce will last them a year—meaning the family no longer has to battle day-to-day to survive.
“I am so happy that I have more land to farm on… I can now grow crops to sell to neighboring villages. If HALO and its partners continue this initiative, surely food insecurity will become a thing of the past in our community.”
Fifty kilometres away in the village of Mukosa lives farmer, Joshua Maramwa. For 15 years, he had one dream: to expand his farm so he could start working with livestock. But he lived between two minefields, making this dream seemingly impossible. Just like Godfrey, Joshua can finally plan for the future.
“I never imagined that I could own cattle or goats because of the minefields in this area. HALO has made the area safer. By next year I hope to have earned enough money to purchase a few cattle”
This life-saving work is paving the way for people like Godfrey and Joshua to not only live in safety, but to invest in their own futures.