Saturday, June 06, 2009


I just returned from a week of flying in the interior, part of which time was spent with the guys from HALO Trust. HALO is an Non Government Organization that works at removing land mines and other explosives left over from Angola's wars. The area that we visited was a place called Cuito Cuanavale where the largest battle in Africa was fought, other than during World War 2. Tens of thousands of mines were laid in fields that cover almost 100 kilometres in length. Daily, the residents of Cuito Cuanavale thread their way through the mine fields to get to their fields of manioc and corn. The danger is extreme to say the least and illustrates the risks that people are willing to take to in order to provide for their families. Every day the workers from HALO head out to remove these weapons of destruction to make things safe again.

Kitted out to go into the mine field.

Don't cross the line of red stakes.

Every square inch of the mine field must be checked, by hand.

I know it is hard to see, but at the centre of the staked area a metal rod is sticking out of the ground. It is attached to what is in the following picture.

Every three metres there is an anti tank mine.
Behind the anti tank mines is a row of anti personnel mines.

Each taped off square contains an anti tank mine, when a sufficiently large area has had all the mines identified, they will be exploded in place.

Your support directly affects the lives of the people of Angola.
Thank you for supporting MAF.

"Desminagem" means de-mining in Portuguese.

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