MAG trains National Institute for Demining staff in mapping.
A key part of MAG’s overall demining operations and strategy in Angola is to assist in the development of the national demining authorities.
In Moxico province in recent months, MAG has delivered safety messages to military and police forces, and conducted mapping training for the country’s National Institute for Demining.
MAG’s Community Liaison teams visited four municipalities – Luena, Luau, Luacano and Alto Zambeze – to deliver Mine Risk Education (MRE) to 668 members of the military and police forces, following a request in March from the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and the National Intersectoral Commission for Humanitarian Assistance and Demining (CNIDAH).
MAG wants to maximise the longer term impact of our
work by improving the skills and broadening the experience of countries'
Although the police and military often work in mine-contaminated areas, some personnel are not aware of the dangers of mines and other remnants of conflict, nor of the appropriate actions to take when working in minefields or when these are discovered.
One of the participants, Antonio Rose Domingos, said: “We appreciate the training that MAG delivered to the military and the police. Some of our staff didn’t know how to avoid the risk [of mines]. We hope that in the future we can work with MAG and that they can give us technical support in MRE and other areas.”
These MRE sessions have proved to be highly successful and more are likely to be carried out in the future, strengthening the relationship between MAG and FAA and reducing risk for the military and police forces.
In May, MAG also delivered training to the National Institute for Demining (INAD) in the use of mapping software and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which are very useful for recording information and producing maps of mine- and UXO- contaminated areas.
MAG Angola’s GIS Officer, Mupepe Mahina, delivered the training on the MapSource software programme, the use of Geographic Positioning systems (GPS) and gave an introduction to the use of GIS in mine action.
This training was extremely useful and practical, as maps must be produced for official reports submitted to the national mine action authority. The GIS Officer is also providing ongoing support in the use of the software to INAD personnel and will continue to explore other ways to assist in strengthening mine action in Moxico.
Said MAG Angola Country Programme Manager, Danny Kavanagh: “Building the capacity of national mine actors is an essential component of our overall demining operations and strategy in Angola. It is vital that we ensure we pass on our corporate knowledge, skills and experience to national organisations and empower them.”
The training in this article was carried out thanks to funding from DFID/UKaid (the UK Department for International Development) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
30 June 2010