Apopo to clear landmines in Zim

HARARE - Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnende Product Ontwikkeling (in Dutch), or Anti-Personnel Landmines Detection Product Development (Apopo) — the charity famed for its use of specially-trained rats in landmine and tuberculosis detection — will begin clearing landmines in Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife conservation area and important elephant migration area, coinciding with new beginnings in the country.

Apopo has been tasked by the Zimbabwean Defence ministry with clearing the deadly landmines inside what is now the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) — the largest conservation area in the world, spanning South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The four-decades old landmines cause a serious threat to already endangered wildlife such as elephants and lions, as well as to local communities who desperately need the land for grazing and agriculture.

Laid along the Mozambique border by the Rhodesian army during the war of independence in the 1970s, the landmines represent a remnant of a troubled time.

“...Mugabe’s resignation after four decades of rule now marks the beginning of a new era for Zimbabwe,” said Christophe Cox, CEO of Apopo.