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Partnerships to tackle complex challenges

kombanicambAPOPO is implementing a project with local partner the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC). The project area is located in one of the most mine-affected parts in Cambodia.

The HeroRATs have finished accreditation tests overseen by the Cambodian Mine Action Authorities (CMAA) and experts of CMAC. The rats and their handlers have to prove their quality, safety, efficiency and suitability in detecting mines, in line with International Mine Action Standard (IMAS). Every rat has to clear an area of 200 m2 in less than 20 minutes, cannot miss any of the mines and can only give 2 false positive indications.

Following performance tests, the HeroRATs continued onto trials on live minefields. The trials allowed measuring factors like the speed in which the MDR are able to search the ground and helped us and the local mine action authorities to develop specific Standard Operation Procedures for the mine detection work in Cambodia. The HeroRATs have been working in the minefields since January 2016 and have now successfully completed their seventh minefield.  


At least 26 million explosive sub-munitions were dropped on Cambodia during the Vietnam War, mostly in eastern and north-eastern areas bordering the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Vietnam. The bombing is estimated to have left between 1.9 million and 5.8 million cluster munitions remnants. Over 64,000 landmine and other Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) casualties have been recorded in Cambodia since 1979. With over 25,000 amputees Cambodia has the highest ratio of mine amputees per capita in the world.

On the 28th of April, 2015, APOPO sent HeroRATs outside of the African continent for the first time to Cambodia following successful mine clearance projects in Angola and Mozambique. The rat teams met all the international and Cambodian requirements by May 2016. They were deployed to support existing demining teams in order to speed up demining operations in the Kingdom of Cambodia. One MDR can search up to 200 square meters in 20 minutes – this would take a technician with a metal detector 1-4 days (depending on levels of scrap metal lying around). 

Our work in Cambodia is made possible by the kind support of our donors and partners: The Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), the Dutch Postcode Lottery, German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO), The JTI Foundation, The Government of Liechtenstien and Association Basmati.





pass on their skills and experience to the APOPO team in Cambodia.

SGT. Kriengdej Namwibool, Co-operator and Observer, APOPO-PRO Survey Team

SGT. Kriengdej Namwibool, Co-operator and Observer, APOPO-PRO Survey Team

I am proud to be a part of APOPO-PRO, which works in dangerous areas on our borders because this is where many people bear the impact of war and landmines.

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Discover a multitude of different ways you can support APOPO and the HeroRATs' work in communities affected by landmines and tuberculosis.

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