Apopo returns land to local communities for safe and productive use by employing African Giant Rats to detect landmines.
(Programme concluded and no longer supported by the Trafigura Foundation)
Despite decades of efforts to clear explosives and other remnants of war, Angola remains one of the most densely landmined countries in the world. Not only do these explosive devices cause life-threatening injuries, they also pose profound development challenges to local populations, as hazardous areas cannot be used for agriculture.
Trafigura Foundation is proud to support APOPO’s ingenious mine action project, which trains African Giant Rats to detect landmines in former war zones in Angola. These mine detection rats are an efficient and reliable supplement to other survey and clearance methods. Due to their excellent sense of smell, rats can detect landmines more quickly than a manual deminer with a metal detector.
In 2018, Apopo worked around Uíge Province, where the vast majority of people living in the affected areas live off subsistence farming. Landmines block safe access to land for agriculture, housing and infrastructure. But thanks to APOPO, villages are expanding and access to safe and economically viable land has increased. In 2018, Apopo cleared and released 664,582 squares metres of land, benefitting over 8,250 people.