HeroDOG, Mannes and Sarann his handler
As always, thank you so much for your incredible support over the last quarter. As you know, the work of our HeroDOGs is a vital part of landmine clearance operations. In the mine action sector, it is widely accepted that one of the essential conditions for increasing efficiency is to ensure land that is least likely to be contaminated is released by low-cost survey methods, rather than by very expensive mine clearance methods, as is often the case.
The basic principles of Land Release are generally accepted, but effective and reliable implementation in the field is complex. An effective technical survey tool is one that can be applied in most areas, regardless of the difficulties caused by terrain and vegetation. This is where the HeroDOGs come into their own - they can travel through even the densest of vegetation and their amazing sense of smell means that they can detect the scent of explosives from one meter away, at which point the HeroDOG stops and sits. This sitting motion allows the dog handler to pinpoint a one-meter squared radius around the dog, in which the landmine or remnant of war is located. This means APOPO need only remove the vegetation around the suspected area, whereas previously, all vegetation was removed, detrimental to the ecosystems in which we work globally.
Your support during the last quarter has enabled us to continue our operations in the countries we work in, such as Cambodia, South Sudan, and Turkey, and excitingly, we have also expanded our operations. We are delighted to let you know that we are now working in Senegal. Senegal's remaining contamination is approximately 2.5 km2, mainly in the Casamance region.
APOPO has developed a proposal together with Humanity and Inclusion (HI) and received a grant from the Dutch Government to expand the mine clearance project in Casamance by adding a HeroDOGs (technical survey dog) team. The team mobilized last month and will begin operations after the HeroDOGs teams have been accredited. The project is being implemented with HI, which is the main mine clearance operator in the country, in the hopes of accelerating the land release and bringing Senegal to a mine-free status by 2025.
Your support is bringing the world a little bit closer to being mine-free and in fact, in the last quarter, our HeroDOGs have cleared 668,455 square meters of land, which is a huge amount of land now declared safe for communities in need. Our HeroDOGs have also detected and aided in the removal of 34 landmines, or unexploded remnants of war, across the countries in which they work.
Our HeroDOGs honestly could not do what they do, without support such as yours!
With huge thanks and best wishes,
The APOPO Team
Mannes searching for landmines/UXO
HeroDOG Team Group Photo - Cambodia
Handler Jairo and HeroDOG Cyklon give a high five!