Zim on course to achieve landmine free status by 2025

By Theophilus Chuma

Zimbabwe is on course to achieving landmine free status within the next two years after clearing close to 300 000 hectares of contaminated areas, with about 70 000 hectares remaining.

According to the clearing authorities, only 70 000 hectares are yet to be cleared with a target to achieve a landmine free country by the end of 2025.

”The initial contamination was 310, 65 square kilometres. To date we have cleared 291 square kilometres which translates to 93 percent. Our target is to be mine free by 2025 if not even earlier,” said Colonel Mkhululi Ncube – Zimbabwe Mine Action Chief Executive Officer.

The demining initiative supported through the government of Japan and other international partners as well as Halo Trust, has guaranteed safety for thousands of people living close to the mine-infested borders.

”On visiting some of the cleared mine fields in Rushinga, I was surprised to see how much close they were to were people lived. I hope to drive there to see the last mine being removed by 2025,” noted Ambassador Satoshi Tanaka- Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe remains committed to maintaining this status quo, as explained by the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Hon Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri.

“We are very grateful for all the efforts that have been undertaken. We want to thank the international community for all their investments they made to clear the mines. This has improved livelihoods and guaranteed safety. We can now see people returning to normal living engaging in agricultural activities,” she said.

The Landmine Free2025 initiative is a campaign to fulfill a promise committed under the Mine Ban Treaty.