APOPO trains rats to save lives and limbs, by using their exceptional sense of smell to sniff out landmines and Tuberculosis. This project will train Godiva the rat during a period of 9 months at our training center in Tanzania. Godiva will be taught to sniff out TNT in order to detect landmines in Mozambique, Angola or Cambodia. Landmine detection rats can quickly and accurately detect landmines, significantly speeding up mine clearance efforts and allowing communities to use their land again.
There are currently 59 countries suffering from the threat of landmines that pose a structural barrier to development and economic growth long after conflicts end. Thousands of innocent children and adults are injured or killed by landmines every year. Villages are cut off from basic needs such as water sources and travel routes, and cannot grow crops or graze livestock on unsafe land. Detection of these devices is difficult, dangerous, costly and time-consuming.
APOPO's trained mine detection rats (MDR) provide a cheap, efficient and effective solution to the global landmine problem. APOPO's HeroRATs can search around 200 square meters in 20 minutes. This would take 25 operational hours using metal detectors. To date APOPO has cleared over 11 million m2 of contaminated land and found over 50,000 explosive remnants of war in 6 countries, helping over 900,000 people to get back on their productive land.
By creating local employment and encouraging development, APOPO provides a cost-effective solution to global humanitarian challenges. The work of APOPO's trained MDRs reduces landmine casualties, and enables communities to utilize their land for agriculture or infrastructure development.