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- Mozambique/Malawi: Cholera Outbreak - Feb 2015
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- Tropical Cyclone Hellen - Mar 2014
- Mozambique: Floods - Jan 2013
- Tropical Storm Irina - Mar 2012
- Mozambique: Storms and Floods - Jan 2012
- Southern Africa: Floods - Jan 2011
Clearing four-decades old landmines will protect endangered elephants, lions and local communities
Harare, Zimbabwe — APOPO, the charity famed for its use of specially trained rats in landmine and tuberculosis detection, is proud to announce it will begin clearing landmines in Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife conservation area and important elephant migration area, coinciding with new beginnings in the country.
MOROGORO, Tanzania — The charity famed for its use of specially trained rats in landmine and tuberculosis detection celebrates its 20th anniversary this week.
Harnessing the highly attuned sense of smell in the African giant pouched rat, the international organization APOPO has spent the last two decades training these affectionate rodents in detecting two of the deadliest threats on the planet: landmines and tuberculosis. Each gives off its own unique smell, undetectable to humans, something which the rats are able to quickly sniff out.
On September 29th, the Government of Flanders pledged 1.1 million euros to APOPO in Mozambique for its TB-detection program using scent detection rats.
APOPO, the NGO that trains African giant pouched rats to detect tuberculosis in patients missed by local clinics in Tanzania and Mozambique, is proud to announce the opening of its new TB-detection program in Ethiopia, funded by the Skoll Foundation.
APOPO will work alongside the Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI) an autonomous federal government organ, and the Addis Ababa Regional Health Bureau to identify more TB-Positive patients in Addis Ababa.
On today's International Women's Day, APOPO wants to express its gratitude to all women and girls working with us. APOPO has taken considerable steps to incorporate a crosscutting gender and diversity dimension into all of its activities and even in a male orientated profession like demining APOPO intends to achieve balanced employment of men and women at all levels.
APOPO's team of bomb disposal specialists have blown up the first batch of mortar bombs and ammunitions, found at the Malhazine site in Maputo. The first destruction of 3,5 tons of explosives is an important step in transforming the deadly site into a public park and nature reserve.
APOPO is currently helping the Mozambican National Institute of Demining clear a site that had previously been used as a weapons store but had exploded in 2007. Once dangerous bombs, grenades and bullets have been removed, the area will be transformed into an ecological park and nature reserve. Apopo has deployed manual, mechanical, and mine-detection rat capacities at the Malhazine site and the task is progressing well.
In light of the tremendous commitment, sacrifice, and dedication APOPO's demining staff have demonstrated not only to APOPO but to the people of Mozambique, APOPO is repaying their dedication by giving them new vocational skills now that the country is free of landmines .
Mozambique successfully resolved its landmine problem in September and no longer requires a large core of deminers. Therefore APOPO, in coordination with the National Institute of Demining (IND), has recognized the need to support its demobilised demining staff in making the transition to their next career.
APOPO are extremely proud to have supported Mozambique in becoming landmine-free. The accomplishment is especially important to APOPO with Mozambique being the first country where our landmine detection rats were tested and deployed in the minefields. The HeroRATS have been supporting clearing operations for almost nine years and have helped us return over 11 million square meters of land to local communities.
On 16 April 2015, the second to last mine-affected province in Mozambique was handed over in a ceremony near APOPO's mine detection rat training center in the District of Gondola.
Since 2008, APOPO has cleared/released over 11 million square meters of land and destroyed 13,273 landmines in Mozambique.
The handover ceremony included representatives from demining operators who worked in the province, members of the local community, high-level government and community leaders with traditional dance performances from local women's and youth associations.
*On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared that the 4th of April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Actionin order to bring special attention to the millions of people still living under the threat of landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). This year's theme 'More than Mines' reflects the use of a wide range of explosives that after the conflicts are over still pose a threat to communities living in the ex-battle zones.*
Last week, our mine action teams in Mozambique arrived at a new task site in Manica Province. Ground preparation works with a machine have already started together with manual deminers and soon mine detection rats will be deployed to clear/release the residential area of about 30,000 square metres. APOPO's teams are dedicated to remove the danger of landmines to civilians as soon as possible so they can use their land without fear once again.
Last year, APOPO supported the National Demining Institute of Mozambique (IND) at contaminated sites at Maputo, Manica, Tete and Sofala and released more than 2.3 million square meters of land back to communities, thereby safely destroying 10,278 landmines and 61 UXO's. This has changed the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children living under the shadow of these insidious weapons.
APOPO’s new TB clinic in Maputo has successfully managed to increase the TB case detection rate of local collaborating clinics by 44,1% in 2013. Since the project began late last year, APOPO’s TB-detection Rats have evaluated 18,475 sputum samples and found 556 additional TB cases, which were missed by conventional microscopy in the clinics. Without the HeroRAT’s, these patients’ illness would have remained undiagnosed, thereby missing their opportunity to be treated effectively, get back to work and support their families.
There are currently 66 countries and 7 territories around the world that are affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war that pose a structural barrier to development and economic growth. Landmines pose a threat not only to the lives and safety of the people but also keep any development firmly away because of the ever-present danger of destruction.