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- UNICEF: Angola's drought takes heavy toll on children's education. 2 Oct 2019
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- AfDB: Angola: African Development Bank approves $1 million grant to children’s food and nutrition security programs. 19 Oct 2019
- Govt. Angola: WHO and UNICEF reiterate support for routine vaccination in Angola. 19 Oct 2019
- UNICEF: Where drinking water is a 90-minute walk away. 2 Oct 2019
- WFP: WFP Angola Country Brief, September 2019. 17 Oct 2019
- FAO: GIEWS Country Brief: Angola 18-October-2019. 18 Oct 2019
By Jane Cocking
MAG’s chief executive, Jane Cocking, is in Angola where Prince Harry will meet MAG staff and once again draw the world’s attention to the country’s landmine legacy.
More than twenty years after his mother walked through a minefield here, Prince Harry is today following her steps through the town of Huambo in central Angola. Although Huambo is unrecognisable from the place Diana saw. No longer a dangerous, deserted minefield, it’s now a bustling community, where people shop, eat and children go to school.
By Jane Cocking
Decades ago Angola was an agricultural breadbasket – self-sufficient in all major food crops and exporting many others. More than a million landmines have contributed to a legacy of war which has left rural communities decimated, fearful and unable to make use of Angola’s natural gifts to produce food and income to thrive.
MAG completed non-technical surveys in Moxico Province on 7th June 2017 and more than 90% of suspected hazardous land has now been handed back to local communities.
Since 2014 MAG has been conducting non-technical surveys in Moxico – an eastern province of Angola. Moxico covers nearly 20% of Angola’s landmass and is one of the poorest and most contaminated provinces in the country. MAG collect and analyse locations that might contain landmines or unexploded ordnance, confirm whether there is evidence of a hazard or not, and define the perimeter of the area.
Together, we've helped more than 17 million people escape the fear of landmines. People like Helen (below right) in Moxico province, Angola.
Two minefields in the area of Angola worst affected by landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) have been made safe by MAG and returned to the local communities.
Our teams removed and destroyed 320 explosive weapons in two villages in the impoverished eastern province of Moxico, which suffers badly from this legacy of Angola’s long civil war. Some 3,456 people are known to have died or been wounded by mines and UXO in Moxico, and the real figure is almost certainly a lot higher.
Though Angola’s civil war ended in 2002, the legacy of this quarter-century long conflict means that, for much of the population, daily tasks like fetching water or walking to school can end in tragedy.
Luzi is a village in the eastern province of Moxico. Like many communities in this war-torn part of the country, Luzi was heavily fought over by Government and UNITA forces during the war. Residents began to flee in the 1980s as a result, seeking refuge in neighbouring Zambia, and by 1995 the village had been deserted.
"Surviving the Peace: Angola" follows the interconnected stories of an eight-year-old landmine survivor, Minga, and a former soldier turned MAG deminer, Eron.
After more than 27 years of civil war (1975-2002), Angola is one of the most landmine-affected countries in the world.
These deadly weapons don't discriminate between soldiers and civilians, nor between adults and children.
One hundred per cent of conflict-affected communities questioned on landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) contamination in Moxico province said that following MAG's work they had not had any further accidents and felt safer.
On a hot morning in the community of Luzi, Soba (village head) Lingele sat with his colleagues Daniel Raule Upite, Soba Kandala and Julia Likumbi to talk about MAG’s work with one of our Community Liaison teams.
The school in Luzi, a landmine-contaminated community of 1,700 people in Moxico Province, has been closed since early 2010 when a mine accident was reported nearby.
One of the teachers has been giving classes outside his home in the meantime, but attendance has dropped by almost 70 per cent.
One mother told a MAG Angola Community Liaison team: “There is no school. I need my daughter here to work and, if we do not have a proper school for her to learn in, why should my family suffer without her help at home?”
Reporting period: April1st 2010 to June 30th 2010
Summary of outputs:
- Clearance of 89,601 m2 of land for resettlement of returnees from the DRC and Zambia
- Clearance and verification of 30km of road
- 220 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) spot tasks completed by the Rapid Response Team (RRT), destroying 467 items (10 AT mines, 18 AP mines, 393 items of Small Arms and Light Weapons, and 46 other items of Unexploded Ordnance - UXO)
- 225 community visits by Community Liaison (CL) teams and 201 UXO reports collected
- 88 Mine Risk Education (MRE) sessions conducted, …
A key part of MAG's overall demining operations and strategy in Angola is to assist in the development of the national demining authorities.
In Moxico province in recent months, MAG has delivered safety messages to military and police forces, and conducted mapping training for the country's National Institute for Demining.
MAG's Community Liaison teams visited four municipalities - Luena, Luau, Luacano and Alto Zambeze - to deliver Mine Risk Education (MRE) to 668 members of the military and police forces, following a request in March from the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) …
"MAG's wondrous legacy in Moxico is everywhere to see, as local people resume lives that fear of landmines had until recently made impossible," said the US Ambassador to Angola, Dan Mozena, after the first of two visits by donors to MAG's Angola operations.The Ambassador, his wife and five colleagues from the Embassy saw MAG deminers in operation, clearing a mine contaminated area, as well as viewing a demolition, at the end of April.
The Ambassador also met with representatives of the local community, Chief Rogério António Suco and a representative of the national …
Along with thousands of other Angolans, 48-year-old Jurindo Hishika, his wife and their five children fled his homeland during the last years of his country's civil war.
Hailing from Angola's eastern Moxico province, Mr Hishika's family were beset by violence during the conflict. Much of the heavy fighting between rebel group UNITA and Angolan government forces erupted in that region during UNITA's last stand.
Reporting period: January 1st 2010 to March 31st 2010
Summary of outputs:
- Clearance of 186,834 m2 of land for 1,656 beneficiaries
- Clearance and verification of 45km of road
- 239 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) spot tasks completed by the Rapid Response Team (RRT), destroying 831 items ( 6 AT mines, 46 AP mines, 715 items of Small Arms and Light Weapons, and 64 other items of Unexploded Ordnance - UXO)
- 175 communities visited by Community Liaison (CL) teams and 155 UXO reports collected
- 77 Mine Risk Education (MRE) sessions conducted, reaching 3,863 …
Clearing roads of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) is crucial to helping improve the standard of living in Moxico, the province in Angola most heavily contaminated by remnants of conflict.MAG Angola's Road Operations Unit is currently working on a 98-kilometre stretch in the isolated municipality of Luchazes, from the communa1 of Cassamba to Cangamba [see map].
During the country's civil war, Luchazes was a former stronghold of UNITA (the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), and as such saw heavy fighting against the MPLA (Popular Movement for the …
Reporting Period: 01 July to 31st December 2009
Activities & Outputs:
- Clearance of 470,187 m2 of land and 77 km of road
- Mechanical preparation of 331,617 m2 of land
- 548 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) spot tasks completed by the Rapid Response Team, destroying 1,193 items ( 9 AT mines, 105 AP mines, 1,033 items of Small Arms and Light Weapons, including ammunition, and 44 other items of Unexploded Ordnance - UXO)
- 384 communities visited by Community Liaison (CL) teams and 411 UXO reports collected
- 172 Mine Risk Education (MRE) …
Like many poor families in Moxico Province, Alfredo Ramos Shimishi, his wife and nine children have two options when attempting to earn a livelihood on land they know is contaminated by landmines - "to take the risk or to starve".
Sixty-six year old Alfredo was a teacher in a Luena primary school in the early 1980s, until one day in 1986 he stepped on a landmine while collecting firewood.
He lost his right leg and had to stay in hospital for three months. When he finally recovered, he found he had lost his job.
"If the village keeps developing and growing, the people will live better and we can request that the government to do more for us, that they bring the services we need - a school, a health centre, water, electricity.
Atenção Chihango is in his 70s, though he is not sure of his exact age. Despite his name, which in Portuguese means 'attention' or 'careful', Atenção had the misfortune of stepping on a landmine when he was a soldier in the Angolan Armed Forces during the civil war. He lost his left leg.
He sits in an open area with his wife and several elderly neighbours, among a cluster of mud brick huts that form the small rural community of Caleji, where he was born and where he has lived most of his life.
The removal of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Moxico Province is helping the construction of houses and roads, and giving safe access to water and agricultural land.
Houses have already begun to be built on land cleared this year by MAG in the 4 de Fevereiro area, close to the city of Luena, where a large number of returnees(1) had settled close to a minefield.
More than 300,000 square metres of land has been made safe, allowing residents to begin construction and agricultural work.