by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – CLEARANCE organisations aim to destroy more than 100 000 landmines planted along the borders with Mozambique and Zambia during the liberation war of the 1970s.
The objective is to destroy these explosives by 2025.
Some 75km of minefield will be cleared, a move also set to open new
economic opportunities for safari operators and conservation-focused
Halo Trust, the world’s largest humanitarian mine clearance organisation,
is confident of reaching the goal following the donation of a
revolutionary anti-personnel landmine clearance rig.
Mining Machinery Developments (MMD), which celebrates 40 years of mining equipment innovation this year, donated the equipment.
“MMD’s sizer technology will make a real difference to tens of thousands
of people,” James Cowan, Chief Executive Officer of the Halo trust.
Zimbabwe has some of the densest minefields in the world, covering
thousands of kilometers.
The colonial regime of Ian Smith planted the highly sensitive minefields
at the then-Rhodesia’s borders to halt movement of liberation fighters
Landmines remain a serious threat to already endangered wildlife and local communities in need of the land for agriculture.
Scores of Zimbabweans have lost their limbs after explosions of landmines.
It is also estimated that since independence in 1980, over 120 000 cattle
have been lost to mines.