Japan supports demining activities in Mukumbura, Mount Darwin District

On 20th May 2015, the Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, H.E. Mr Yoshi Tendai Hiraishi attended a ceremony in Mukumbura marking the successful completion of “The Project for Mine Clearance in Mashonaland Central Province”. The project was implemented by an international NGO, the HALO Trust with funding by a Japanese grant of eight hundred and sixty-four thousand dollars (USD 864,000), which was inaugurated at a signing ceremony in March 2013.

The project supported demining activities in Mukumbura, Mount Darwin District, in the north east of the country along the border with Mozambique which was heavily mined pre 1980. This project was significant in that the problem of landmines had been left unattended for so many years in spite of the fact that people had been exposed to grave danger by living beside dense minefields.

The main objective of the project was to create a safer environment for local communities, their children and livestock and to return land for agricultural production through the removal of unexploded mines. A total of 982 landmines has been cleared and the area of 187,765 square meters has been released under this project which included the groundwork such as a detailed survey, training and procurement of specialised equipment. Currently, the HALO Trust continues their demining work using another Japanese grant of USD 853,607 which was disbursed in March 2014.

Speaking at the occasion, H.E. Mr Hiraishi expressed his hope that he could come back to Mukumbura to see further progress in mine clearance.