22 years later and 171,000 landmines cleared, Mozambique is officially "Mine Free."
Mozambique is the first heavily mined country in the world to announce that it is “Mine-Free.” The last deadly device was removed from the base of a railroad bridge in the center of the country.
For the past 22 years, charities have worked with Mozambique’s government to clear the country of the landmines. In that time, more than 171,000 landmines have been safely eradicated, opening up more than 4,200 acres of land (1700 ha) for safe passage.
HALO trust, the UK charity made famous by Princess Diana, is responsible for clearing 80% of the country’s mines. 1,600 local people used specially built machines in their 22-year effort and successfully eliminated the last snare.
Not too long ago, True Activist also shared news of Apopo, a team of giant, well-trained rats being used to sniff out landmines in the country (below). The African giant pouched rats can smell explosives through the ground, but do not weigh enough to set them off.
Now that the country is officially clear of landmines, it has opened up roads, bridges, and farmland. The freedom is allowing Mozambique to develop its natural resources like gas, oil and coal, as well as expand its tourism industry. There are brighter days ahead for the nation’s people, that’s for sure.
And, as BBC reports, with the success of the clearing effort, the country’s GDP is now expanding by 7% per year. This is making Mozambique one of the world’s fastest growing economies!
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