ZIMBABWE

Risk education and mine clearance | Project duration: 2015–2021

The war of independence that raged during the 1970s still shapes the lives of the people living on the border to Mozambique. One of the densest mine belts in the world is located here. 5 500 mines were laid along a length of 425 kilometres – often directly adjacent to family homes, schools, hospitals and in the middle of farmland. The mine belt denies both humans and animals access to land and water and impedes trade and border traffic. Mine accidents involving cattle regularly bring farming families to the brink of destitution. 

The project

WWM began cooperating with HALO Trust to clear mines and sensitise civilians living near Zimbabwe's north-eastern border in 2015.

Example: the Chavhunga family

When Tashinga Chavhunga got married, he and his wife were given permission by the village headman to build their house near the village. What they didn't know when they were building it was that the property was located directly adjacent to two minefields.

"We were like prisoners", Tashinga says. "We could not walk freely on our own land. "We were afraid to ever take our eyes off our son."

The area around his house has now been cleared. In the future the family wants to cultivate the land and acquire cattle.

What we achieved

The mine-clearing operation financed by WWM and the safety resulting from it brought great joy to the Chavhunga family's village. But not only there. Farmland released for use is urgently needed in many areas to ensure that the crops are sufficient to survive in years of drought. Trade has increased thanks to safe border crossings with Mozambique; external traders also feel confident about returning to the villages in the former mine belt.

Locals can work as deminers in WWM projects. They use the money they earn to pay for their children's education, more cattle, a new roof or a solar panel – thus investing in a better future.

Results 2018

262 anti-personnel mines were identified and disposed of.

76 974 square meters of land have been cleared of mines.Further 32 074 square meters could be released again by area reduction.

4 073 people now have safe access again to their agricultural resources and social infrastructure (schools).

2 339 people (including 1 461 children) learned more about the danger of mines and the safe way to behave.

Pictures: The HALO Trust

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