APOPO is a global non-profit with Belgian roots that deploys scent detection animals (HeroDOGs and HeroRATs) to detect landmines and tuberculosis. APOPO's scent detection technology has a massive potential to relieve human suffering and promote development when used in landmine-response, as well as in currently unexplored fields. APOPO has programs in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Angola, Cambodia and Zimbabwe.
Landmines injure or kill innocent civilians every day and pose a structural barrier to development, long after war ends. According to the Landmine Monitor, Cambodia is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world with over 1,030 km of land surface still contaminated by landmines. It is estimated that many hundreds of thousands of landmines and other explosives continue to litter the countryside, presenting a major humanitarian and socio-economic challenge.
A single Technical Survey Dog (aka HeroDOG) can effectively survey an area of up to 4000m2 per day across challenging terrain with thick vegetation. Equipped with a SMART system backpack and guided by voice, our HeroDOGs beam live imagery and GPS positioning during their survey, pausing upon identification of a landmine where their location is precisely recorded. Upon completion of their survey, all landmines are then safely destroyed under controlled conditions.
For almost 30 years, local communities have been unable to use farmland for risk of losing life or limb; APOPO's landmine clearance will return much-needed safe land back to communities as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. The work of our HeroDOGs reduces landmine casualties, and enables communities to utilise their land to drill wells for water, and for planting crops, such as rice, mango, cashew nuts etc. securing the families' longterm income as they sell their crops in the market.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).