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
As always, thank you for your continued support of our HeroDOGs and what another incredible year we have had thanks to your generosity. We welcome 2023 with renewed determination to save lives and hope that you have a wonderful year ahead too!
Round up of 2022!
Our teams worked tirelessly throughout 2022 and with your support, a total of 7,830 landmines and unexploded remnants of war have been found and destroyed by our teams globally and almost 11 million square meters of land have been cleared!
The horrors of landmines cannot be ignored – every year over 5,000 people are maimed or killed by a landmine or unexploded ordnance (UXO) and devastatingly half of civilian victims are children. Every landmine that you helped detect and remove from the ground prevents another accident. Thank you.
The removal of remnants of war does more than prevent injury and death, it unshackles people from poverty – allowing people to create infrastructure, expand communities, grow crops, graze cattle, and travel safely to school or work. Your support enables a higher socio-economic standard for the people we serve and allows APOPO to execute our core values.
Your support last year helped us expand our areas of operation across the world, with a new team of HeroDOGs deployed in Turkey. With this expansion, it was necessary to train more technical survey dog handlers and a 14-week intensive course was held in Cambodia in collaboration with the Cambodian Mine Action Center, where six men and three women graduates joined the expanding operational teams. This expansion of our operations is only possible thanks to your support - thank you so much.
25 years after the Ottawa Landmine Treaty was drafted to ban landmines, there is still work to be done. Our HeroDOG operations will continue apace in our countries of operation to save lives and provide opportunities for communities suffering from the deadly legacies of war. We will also be looking at new regions where our amazing HeroDOGs can expedite the release of land in some of the most war-damaged countries in the world.
APOPO's aim is to become the go-to resource in accelerating the pace of landmine clearance using detection animals as the world races to accomplish the Ottawa Treaty target of eliminating all landmines. Thank you for supporting us last year and we hope your support will continue throughout 2023 - we are certainly looking forward to updating you on our activities!
With huge thanks and best wishes,
Thank you for your continued support of the amazing HeroDOGs!
Already this year (to date), across Cambodia, South Sudan and Turkey alone, our HeroDOGs have cleared in excess of 3 million square meters, which is truly amazing! Your support allows communities across the world to live, play and work safely for the first time in some people's lives. We cannot fathom what it feels like to be fearful of every step, and your support frees people from that fear - thank you.
The last quarter has seen our HeroDOGs continue to clear the cluster munitions alongside the notorious Ho Chi Minh Trail in Cambodia. Your support has helped us in this mission and the remnants of the Vietnam war are being cleared as you read this report, thanks to support such as yours.
In Turkey, our HeroDOG operations are gathering pace and the teams are working towards the completion of clearing all the mines on the Eastern Border. This is a huge accomplishment and we are hugely thankful for your support, which allowed for this expansion of our operational programs.
In South Sudan, the dogs are going through maintenance training, to keep them in shape for the upcoming season that will start in November.
In Azerbaijan, our team along with the six working HeroDOGs were successfully accredited by the National Mine Action Authority ANAMA and were deployed in minefields in Agdam, which is in the Karabakh Region.
We often get questions about our HeroDOGs’ retirements and in fact, the last quarter saw one of our HeroDOGs, Aria retire. Aria’s retirement after eight years of service to APOPO is so well deserved, and you can read about her paradise retirement here: https://apopo.org/from-minefields-to-sandy-beaches/
Thank you so much for your generosity and support, your contribution to making the world a better place is hugely appreciated by thousands of people across the world who can now live without the threat of injury or death.
We couldn't do what we do, without your support - thank you.
Hello and welcome to your HeroDOGs Quarterly Update!
Our HeroDOGs have had an exciting last quarter, with formal re-accreditation being awarded to our existing HeroDOGs. The first accreditations were given to our new HeroDOG team members in Cambodia. Decades of civil war and external conflict have left Cambodia in desperate need of clearing the contaminated land. Throughout 2014-2021, APOPO was concentrated on landmine clearance in the northern part of the country, and in 2022 we have expanded the operations to the east, to tackle the cluster munitions problem in the eastern province of Ratanakiri, bordering Vietnam and Laos. The notorious Ho Chi Minh Trail crosses the province from north to south, which is the main reason for the area being heavily bombed during the Vietnam War. Your support will help us in this mission.
We reported last time that we were very excited to have deployed a team of 16 HeroDOGs and their handlers to Turkey and I am pleased to update you on this project in that it is beginning as expected and all team members are fully committed to clearing their tasks on time. With your support, the dogs have already searched 70,692m2, which is only possible through funding and support such as yours. We truly appreciate it.
We are also excited to share the published results of an 18-month pilot project to evaluate and validate our Technical Survey Dogs in combination with the SMART system developed by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) and Digger DTR. This report shares very positive results! You can find out more here: https://bit.ly/3LCvMOO
Over the last quarter, across Cambodia, South Sudan, and Turkey alone, our HeroDOGs have cleared in excess of 626,000m2, which is a phenomenal amount of land to hand back to communities, making their lives safe. Clearing land from unexploded remnants of war and landmines also helps people start to grow their own crops and graze their own cattle, thus lifting them out of poverty and allowing for socio-economic change.
You have massively contributed to the successes of the last quarter. So once again, thank you so much for supporting our amazing HeroDOGs. Your generosity genuinely saves lives.
Please do also look at our latest annual report (released end of May) to see how your money really does have an impact - the link is below.
With huge thanks and best wishes,
As you will recall from the last update, 16 of our HeroDOGs have now been mobilized in Turkey, meaning that your support has enabled the HeroDOGs to work in four different countries around the world now!
In South Sudan and Cambodia, we have been busy preparing the dogs for their yearly accreditation and assessing the tasks of 2022, whilst the HeroDOGs have a much-deserved break from operations. The HeroDOGs have not lost their touch, as our dog handlers continuously worked with the dogs to maintain their shape and conducted scent detection training. Through the last quarter of the year, our HeroDOGs completed the yearly re-accreditation with 100% accuracy. This time of rest also allowed a full health check and lots of play!
For example, in South Sudan, Cyklon passed his accreditation training with flying colors (picture of Cyklon with his handler, Jairo below) and in Cambodia, both Gizmo and Mannes have passed their accreditation and will start the 4th season of their career.
In February, the Cambodian HeroDOGs will start searching for cluster munitions in the eastern province of Ratanakiri, bordering Vietnam and Laos. This farming province was one of the most heavily bombed areas in Cambodia during the Vietnam War, with the notorious Ho Chi Minh Trail crossing it from North to South. The province remains heavily contaminated with air-dropped bombs and other explosive devices.
This project is an international effort in collaboration with The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and includes staff from Cambodia, Colombia, and Mozambique working together.
Our teams in Turkey will start the new season in March after it gets warmer and they pass the pre-season Accreditation. The project is on Turkey’s eastern border with Armenia and Iran and the temperatures are currently between -6 to 8 degrees, which is not optimal for scent detection training.
Thank you for supporting this incredibly important work. An incredible 90% of your donation goes directly to the work on the ground, making us a very efficient non-profit. Your support genuinely helps save lives.
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