| Sep 25, 2015
HeroRATs helped Mozambique become mine-free!
The HeroRATs have helped clear over 11 million m2
We're thrilled to announce that Mozambique was officially declared free of all known landmines on the 17th of September! This massive accomplishment wouldn't have been possible without the tremendous efforts of our brave deminers and HeroRATs and your generous support!
Mozambique is now freed of tens of thousands of landmines and this achievement is even more special to APOPO since Mozambique is the first country where our landmine detection rats were tested and deployed in the real minefields.
Back in 2003 a first group of landmine detection rats nailed their trial tests in a densely mined field, indicating all 20 mines that were subsequently found by the manual deminers. A massive breakthrough for APOPO and the HeroRATs, proving our sniffers were up for the real job in the minefields. Soon after, eleven rats passed the accreditation test organized by the National Demining Institute of Mozambique and received their operational license.
They joined our mine action team in Gaza Province where they have helped clear over 6 million square meters of land, more than a year before the deadline! This successful clearance operation was the start of many tasks throughout Mozambique and eventually the HeroRATs have helped free five provinces of landmines, thereby finding 13,274 landmines and returning 11,124,446 square meters of safe land to the people of Mozambique.
"We were all excited when the rats passed the first trial and accreditation tests but I don't think anyone of us was hoping they would become such an important part of our operations and would help Mozambique become mine-free", says APOPO's training manager Abdullah, who was in Mozambique in 2003. "I'm so proud of them and I look forward to celebrating future accomplishments of our HeroRATs in Angola and Cambodia"!
A special thank you from our team and HeroRATs in Mozambique and we hope we can free more countries of landmines and help thousands of people back on their land with your support!
The APOPO team
The HeroRATs work alongside human deminers
Mine detection rats speed up clearance operations
The people of Mozambique can use their land again