Zimbabwe is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. Dense belts of landmines were laid by the Rhodesian army along the country’s borders with Mozambique and Zambia during the Liberation War in the 1970s. Now, nearly 40 years on from independence, these unfenced minefields have killed or injured over 1,500 people and more than 100,000 cattle. The human cost is huge, but loss of cattle threatens livelihoods too. Children like Wellington from Katiza village have to make a two-hour detour to school every day to avoid crossing the minefield and his mother, Angela, constantly fears for his safety.
Angela, Katiza village, Zimbabwe
HALO’s work clearing landmines in Zimbabwe is focused in the north east of the country, where we employ more than 400 local men and women. Since 2013, we have destroyed over 100,000 landmines. Staggeringly, that’s nearly four landmines for every person in that part of the country. Last year alone, HALO’s team in Zimbabwe cleared nearly 10 per cent of all landmines destroyed around the world.
In addition to clearing landmines, we work with Cassim’s Prosthetics to support amputees. Many have very old prosthetics, if they are lucky enough to have one at all. We also work with Happy Readers to provide children with mine risk education books and help them understand the dangers.