A mine detection rat working in Angola
With the help of the HeroRATs, our demining teams are now supporting the clearance of landmines in a residential area in Ngola Luije in the northern part of Angola. The site was a military camp during the war but when the soldiers left, landmines and other explosive remnants of war remained and are now acting as a barrier to development as well as a dangerous hazard to local communities.
The site is located near a primary school, so every day hundreds of children, teachers and parents from the local community walk right past the minefield. "Children want to explore new places and when they play they sometimes forget about possible dangers”, says Frank Gregorio, APOPO's mine action program manager for Angola. “Our rats are therefore doing a very important job by clearing all these weapons in the backyards of the school. Thanks to them, these children can play safely and without fear again”
Clearing the mines will also allow the community to use the much needed land for agricultural and developmental purposes. Most people living in the area are small scale farmers, depending on arable land for their livelihoods.
From APOPO and all the school children, teachers and parents, thank you for helping us make Ngola Luije save to live, play and farm.
Clearing landmines so children can play safely