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.
Humanitarian demining in Mozambique is drawing to a close with all but two provinces officially declared mine-free. Since 2008 APOPO has helped rid three provinces of landmines, handing over a total area of more than 10.9 million square meters back to local villages, allowing them to live, work, farm and play without fear. Most households in these areas are headed by smallholder farmers who have not been able to use their land to grow crops and sustain their livestock for decades, until APOPO cleared the landmines.
"Mozambique used to be one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world but we're in the final stages of freeing the country of the terror of landmines and giving the people of Mozambique their land and lives back", says Tess Tewelde, APOPO's Country Director for Mozambique. "We're now discussing and finalizing the distribution of tasks for 2015 with IND and the other humanitarian demining operators and we're looking forward bringing the demining work to a successful conclusion so Mozambique can be declared mine-free later on this year", he adds.