Together, we’ve continued to bring safety around the world during a pandemic
Throughout the challenges of the past 18 months, the wonderfully inventive ways people have come together have inspired us all. This has also been true at MAG, the joint effort of staff members, community leaders, and supporters like you – has ensured life-saving programmes have continued all around the world.
Below are some achievements from the last few months, and we hope you feel the same sense of pride as you see how we are saving lives together.
In Laos, our teams have removed, and safely disposed of, their 300,000th unexploded bomb!
Between 1964 and 1973, Laos became the most heavily bombed country in the world per capita, and it is estimated that 250 million cluster bombs were dropped on the country during the Vietnam war. Many of these bombs failed to explode and have laid dormant ever since — ready to strike at any given moment.
Building a safer future for all generations in Laos is what drives the almost 1,200-strong team of brave men and women working with MAG in Laos.
Almost two decades after the fighting stopped and 16 years after the clearance work started, a town at the heart of decades of conflict in Angola is finally free.
Lucusse is a town in Angola’s largest and most mine-affected province, Moxico, and was at the heart of a civil war lasting more than 40 years. As a result, the town was left heavily contaminated with hundreds of landmines and most families were forced to abandon the area to seek safety. Women, girls, boys and men fled, desperate to escape the horror of the fighting and the fear of the landmines.
Thanks to your ongoing support, the last known minefield in Lucusse is now completely free of landmines.
Howes, the landmine-sniffing rat, has just started her new job clearing the deadly legacy of conflict in Cambodia.
Meet our smallest – and possibly cutest ever – new recruit, Howes. She is a two-year-old African Giant Pouched Rat who began working with us this summer, detecting landmines through her powerful sniffing skills.
Howes is named in honour of heroic deminer Christopher Howes, who was killed alongside his colleague, Houen Hourth, by the Khmer Rouge in 1996 while working for MAG. Now, 25 years later, this talented rat can continue Christopher’s life-saving legacy, clearing mines in Cambodia and saving lives.
When Covid-19 hit and travel was restricted, our community liaison teams couldn’t always give these life-saving lessons in person, meaning communities were left vulnerable. Many people had to return to contaminated land, crossing areas on foot that are extremely dangerous, or were living near landmines without our teams able to go and teach them how to keep themselves safe.
In order to reach as many people as possible with our life-saving messages, we adapted our risk education messages so they could be delivered online and by radio, for those who don’t have access to the internet, so we can reach the people who need it most – helping keep these communities safe.
None of these incredible achievements could have happened without the support from people like you. So thank you for all that you do. Together, we can continue to make sure no one has to live in fear of landmines and unexploded bombs.