APOPO is a social enterprise that researches, develops and implements detection rats technology for humanitarian purposes such as Mine Action and Tuberculosis detection. APOPO is a Belgian NGO, with headquarters in Tanzania and operations in Mozambique, Thailand, Angola and Cambodia.
For the last few months APOPO has been providing capacity building and technical assistance to Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas (CCCM) – the Colombian campaign to ban landmines. Yesterday, the two CCCM non-technical survey teams that APOPO trained reached a first milestone – they were accredited by the Colombian Mine Action Authority and will begin operations at the end of the month.
On February 10th the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria officially announced that the country was mine-free! Algeria is the largest country in Africa and its history is marked with more periods of violence than peace. The combination of World War II, the Algerian War of Independence and religious fighting in the 90s led to Algeria's landmine problem.
On Wednesday the 23rd of November, APOPO celebrated the opening of its new HeroRAT TB Detection Facility in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Partners, donors and clinic staff alike attended the celebration with words from The Honourable Ummy Mwalimu (MP) - Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (Represented by Dr Mohamed A. Mohamed – Director of Health Quality Assurance, Ministry of Health).
The HeroRATs in Cambodia have helped our partner CMAC complete clearance of a second minefield since they were deployed at the beginning of the year.
Over the last thirty days, 6 landmines and 3 unexploded mortar bombs were found. Eight families, totaling around 40 people, have lived next door to the landmines for the last 25 years and have been forced to sometime farm on unsafe land in order to feed themselves. They are already getting on with the serious business of growing rice crops on the newly safe land.