Mozambique: Floods Complicate Mine Clearing Efforts

News and Press Release
Originally published
MAPUTO, Mozambique (PANA) - Much of the mine clearance work done since the end of the 16-year-old civil war in Mozambique has been annulled by the floods that hit the southern and the central regions of the country in February, the Maputo Sunday paper, Domingo reported.
It quoted officials in the Mozambican Campaign Against Land Mines as saying they believed the strong power of the flood waters may have moved land mines from those areas that were known and demarcated as planted with those explosives, and even into some of those that had already been cleared.

They added that nobody was sure where the land mines are and the whole process has to be restarted from scratch.

"Now nobody can tell for sure that even the areas previously declared as free of land mines are still," Alberto Manhique, chairperson of the Mozambican Campaign Against Land Mines, said.

He pointed out that, after the end of the floods, civic education and warnings against land mines should be renewed.

"With this situation, created by the floods, it is important that one multiplies demining actions in the country, particularly in Maputo and Sofala provinces," he said.

Manhique acknowledged the contributions made by various NGOs operating in the country, towards mine clearance, and encouraged them to redouble their efforts in civic education, particularly during the period after floods.

Mine clearance in Mozambique had managed to reduce the number of accidents with those explosives from about 40 a week to only two.

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