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Dec 5, 2017

HeroRATs to help African Elephants

It’s the dawn of a new era for Zimbabwe, following an incredibly peaceful end to the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe.  APOPO is proud to support the new Zimbabwe by helping to clear its lethal landmines. These landmines are located in the heart of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP), the largest conservation area in the world, where not only communities, but also many endangered species such as elephants, lions, wild dogs and many more are affected by the land mines.

The GLTP includes three iconic National Parks (NP) spanning three countries; Kruger NP in South Africa; Limpopo NP in Mozambique; Gonarezhou NP in Zimbabwe. APOPO’s minefield is found in the Sengwe Wildlife Corridor, a specifically designated area aimed at allowing free movement of wildlife between Kruger NP and Gonarezhou NP. The minefield runs for 37km with one of the highest landmine densities in the world (about 5,500 mines per km), causing a serious threat to already endangered wildlife and communities living in the area.

HeroRATs Helping Elephants

Gonarezhou NP boasts a population of over 11,000 African elephants, one of the largest in Africa. Kruger NP also has a similar sized population. Given the general continental decline of the African elephant, it is paramount for the long-term wellbeing of the species that these two healthy populations have safe access to interaction.

HeroRATs Re-Building Lives

The landmines also scare away safari operators and lucrative, conservation-focused ecotourism. Kruger NP receives a massive influx of tourists (over 1,600,000 a year), which could potentially travel up the Sengwe Corridor and into Gonarezhou without requiring a visa or leaving the conservation area. Currently Gonarezhou receives virtually no international tourists. If even a small fraction of the Kruger tourists made it to Gonarezhou NP, the economic implications for Zimbabwe would be significant

 APOPO feels privileged to be here during this historic transition and wishes to play a role in the creation of a safer and more prosperous Zimbabwe. We are currently fundraising to be able to commence our demining operation in the Sengwe Wildlife Corridor early next year.

Please help us to reach our goal! 

Links:

Nov 7, 2017

New Recruits!

Farmers in training
Farmers in training

We are delighted to announce that a further 40 farmers are now part of the HeroTREEs project! Together, they will plant a total of 6,000 trees before the New Year.

20 farmers from the Choma Village have already prepared and sowed 1,000 tree pots. We expect that they will a further 2,000 during the next month. This will bring the total trees planted in the Choma Village to 3,000 before the end of the year.

We have 20 farmers from the Kisosa Village who have prepared 1,500 tree pots. Similarly to the Choma Village farmers, we have a target to reach 3,000 before the year is over.

We wish our new participants all the very best!

Growing Success

As well as the new participants, we are also pleased to report on the successes of our ongoing participants

  • 40 Farmers from Ruvuma and Mgambazi have already planted 4,300 trees. They will continue planting trees during small rainy season
  • Tulo Village (20 farmers) have 2,500 trees which will be transplanted during the small rainy season
  • Tulo Village has 250 Avocados and 250 Mangos which will be grafted. This exercise will take place this year

Thank you for your support!

The forests of the Uluguru Mountains are of critical importance to indigenous village communities, the cities of Morogoro and Dar es Salaam, and the survival of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Furthermore, the project area is of vital importance to for Morogoro city's water supply.

On behalf of the communities involved, please keep supporting this vital work.

 

Farmers working hard
Farmers working hard
Planting trees
Planting trees
Oct 5, 2017

New Record: Cambodia Casualty-free for a Month

Sophea, APOPO Rat Handler
Sophea, APOPO Rat Handler

For the first time since the end of the civil war, the Cambodian Mine Action Authority (CMAA) recorded no casualties in Cambodia for a whole month. The first half of this year has also shown a drop in 40% of deaths and injuries from old landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) compared to the same period last year.

It is unheard of that since CMAA began recording incidents in 1979, that there has been a whole month free from casualties. This is a very encouraging sign and APOPO and partner CMAC are thrilled that the impact of our work in Cambodia becomes evident in ways like this.

“Seeing the rats finding the landmines so quickly is amazing! We work on zones the size of a tennis court, and they take about 30 minutes to check it. This could take me up to four days with a metal detector because of all the false alarms from scrap metal, which of course we have to check in case they are actually landmines." says Sophea,  one of the APOPO Rat handlers.

HeroRATs Saving Lives

Used as a unique add-on to conventional detection methods, APOPOs Mine Detection Rats are proven to significantly speed up conventional landmine detection methods and return safe land to vulnerable communities as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

This life-saving work must continue

Cambodia is one of the most landmine-affected countries in the world, the result of 3 decades of conflict which persisted until the late 1990’s.  The impact of these weapons is long lasting and devastating. Landmines keep people poor and their presence stands in the way of socio-economic growth for communities living in contaminated environments. Mines prevent access to land for agriculture, resettlement and other infrastructure developments such as roads, schools and water catchment ponds.

Removing mines is therefore essential for the lives and livelihoods of the Cambodian population.

You’re Saving Lives

Your donation has led to this amazing accomplishment and we are incredibly appreciative.  Of course, there is a lot more work to be done to rid the country of landmines completely,  but together with our HeroRATs and your support, we will get there faster!

Thank you.

Brave HeroRAT saving lives in Cambodia
Brave HeroRAT saving lives in Cambodia
Our brave staff in Cambodia
Our brave staff in Cambodia
Cambodian HeroRAT
Cambodian HeroRAT
 
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