MAG in Angola











People in Angola have no choice but to live with the daily risk of death or injury from landmines and unexploded bombs left over from the country’s civil war. This is unacceptable.

Landmine in Angola

Landmines trap communities in poverty, by reducing access to agricultural land, water and other basic services.

Photo: Sean Sutton/MAG

The problems

Why MAG is in Angola

More than a decade after the end of the Angolan civil war, landmines and other deadly explosive items means that communities are still living in fear of death and injury.

Moxico, in the east, is Angola’s poorest and most landmine-affected province. Almost a fifth of people there are affected by mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), and there are more mine-related accidents here than anywhere else in the country.

People in Moxico struggle to find safe land to build houses, grow food, access safe water and rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

Those who fled their homes during the war have been returning to Moxico since the conflict ended. They have little choice where they settle and have low awareness of the risks or how to keep themselves safe. It is essential that more land is cleared in order to support their safe return.

Mines and UXO trap communities in poverty, by reducing access to agricultural land, water and other basic services. Development is impeded – as local government is unable to safely implement projects – and the existing economic differences are exacerbated, in a country where 68 per cent of the population lives in poverty.

Surviving the Peace: ANGOLA

"Surviving the Peace: Angola" follows the interconnected stories of an eight-year-old landmine survivor and a former soldier turned deminer.

How MAG is helping

MAG’s work in Angola makes a long-lasting and permanent difference. Cleared land is used to build hundreds of houses, schools and clinics. It also enables farming for subsistence, and profit and facilities projects which give communities access to safe water.

MAG’s work gives people the chance to rebuild their lives and livelihoods in safety, free from fear and danger. 

 $6million of funding a year for 10 years, WOULD ENABLE MAG TO clear ANGOLA's most contaminated province, MOXICO, of landmines and unexploded bombs.

We train and employ local people as deminers, to conduct manual clearance in high priority areas in coordination with the national authorities. We also deliver mine risk education to help people keep themselves and their families as safe as possible until MAG can remove the threat.

MAG has been leading the trialling and refining of the Handheld Standoff Mine Detection System, known as HSTAMIDS. These detectors differentiate between harmless scrap metal and dangerous items, so land can be quickly and cost-effectively released back to the communities who need it the most.

Land release through non-technical survey is another way of ensuring that scarce resources can be best targeted to priority areas.

 In February 2016, three of the leading humanitarian demining organisations in Angola made an appeal to the international donor community – in a letter to the  Mine Action Support Group – to commit more funding to mine action in the country: Download it here

Schoolchildren in Angola

Schoolchildren in Moxico, where MAG is saving lives and supporting development.

Credit: JB Russell/MAG