Zim commended for its mine action strategy

By Wellington Makonese

ZIMBABWE has been commended for establishing a vibrant and efficient Mine Action Strategy that speaks into the concerns of communities affected by landmines.

Zimbabwe currently has approximately 2 500 mines per kilometre.

This affected the socio-economic activities of communities around border areas where most of the landmines were found.

However, there is hope for a better future after the government and its international partners intervened to change the narrative through demining interventions implemented over the past five years.

“The Zimbabwe Mine Action Program is one of the best and has been the strongest in the past five years, I think due to government commitment high level of collaboration keen to try innovations. It’s unique the interventions have come given the landscape where the landmines are mostly in the border lying areas,” said Asa Maasleberg of the Geneva International Centre of Humanitarian Demining.

With a total of five organisations clearing part of the six provinces contaminated, the target of a landmine free country by 2025 is within range.

“On all the 164 state parties to the convention, I think we have made progress in working alone at some point without foreign aid. Initially, we had 310.65 square kilometres since 2018 but now we have pushed to 216.05 kilometres cleared that is 92.8% clean. I’m sure at this rate we will be landmine free before 2025,” said Colonel Mkhululi Bhika Ncube, the Director of Zimbabwe Mine Action Centre.

This comes a week after demined land was handed over to Mt Darwin district to pave way for habitation and other agroecological activities.

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