The HALO Trust has cleared its 10,000th landmine in Zimbabwe. Mine clearance has allowed hundreds of rural families in Zimbabwe to access water sources and graze their livestock along 30km of the border with Mozambique.
Although it receives little publicity, Zimbabwe is one of the most highly mine-impacted countries in the world. There are very dense, unfenced minefields, dating back to the Liberation War of the 1970s along its border with Mozambique. The HALO Trust is clearing landmines close to houses, schools and shops and providing access to agricultural land that has been denied to small-scale farmers for decades.
The HALO Trust began survey in Zimbabwe in August 2013 and demining in November 2013. HALO employs 150 Zimbabwean staff, mostly recruited from the mine-impacted communities. These deminers are clearing hundreds of mines and approximately 1km of border territory per month. However, HALO will need to expand capacity by a factor of four to complete clearance of the country in ten years.
Tom Dibb, HALO’s Programme Manager in Zimbabwe said:
It’s been 40 years since the Liberation War ended and yet over 75,000 people are still directly affected by landmines in north east Zimbabwe. We have made fantastic progress and this is a significant milestone but there is a great deal of work still to do. We are grateful to our donors for their support but we need more funding to accelerate our work and help more people rebuild their lives.
HALO’s work in Zimbabwe has been generously supported by the governments of the United States, Japan, Ireland, as well as the following organisations: Fondation Pro Victimis, World Without Mines, NVESD, The Julia Burke Foundation, Actiefonds Mijnen Ruimen, Jack DeLoss Taylor Charitable Trust and The Dulverton Trust.