Mine Action Angola - Pedro Xavier & Eduardo Pona
Farmers at Malele, Angola
“We are brothers and this is our farm. Can you see the red sticks? This means that until recently, we thought there might be landmines here. In fact there were no landmines at all and our land has not been used for over 20 years. We don’t know whether to laugh or cry. This is the problem with landmines; no one knows where they are.
We knew there were landmines somewhere close, and we heard that NPA and APOPO found 50 along the road 300 meters away. Then they searched our land and found none. How could we know that our land was actually safe? Would you take the risk?”
“Now that the area if free of land mines, it will become a big border market, bringing people from The Congo and Angola together.
We now have all our land back and we have already started planting cassava, beans, groundnuts and maize. At the moment we will sell the extra produce at the nearby village, or use it to feed our families. We will also use the extra money to pay other people to help us on the land so that when the new market is developed, we will be ready to sell the produce to cross-border vendors. We are looking forward to getting our lives back on track.”