Angola remains one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, with over 100 million square metres of land contaminated and over 1,200 known and suspected minefields. Millions of landmines and other unexploded bombs are still scattered throughout the country - the legacy of over 40 years of conflict.
MAG has been working in Angola since 1994 and has operations in the east of the country in Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul and Moxico provinces. In the last decade alone, and with the support of the Angolan government, MAG has cleared more than 10 million square metres of minefields for communities—the equivalent of 1,400 football pitches.
Why we work in Angola
Landmines still contaminate large swathes of Angola, hindering development and causing injury and death. Over 88,000 people were registered as living with disabilities from landmines and unexploded bombs in 2014.
The contamination in eastern Angola has a significant impact on local communities. People living in the poorest areas of the country are unable to build homes as needed and farm their land safely. Villages cannot expand to accommodate Angolan refugee communities living in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo who want to return home.
We needed MAG because people were finding a lot of mines and some were dying. Now so much has been cleared. Now there is a market, there is a school, there is a health centre and a police post where there were mines.
Village Soba (Chief) JonasAngola
How we help
MAG clears rural land of landmines and unexploded bombs to keep communities still suffering the effects of a long-finished conflict safe, while returning land to be used for agriculture and house building.
MAG has completed non-technical survey – the process of confirming exactly where mines are so that land without contamination can be declared safe – across the provinces of Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul and Moxico. Since 2014, nearly 130 million square metres of land that was suspected to contain mines has been visited, surveyed and cancelled from the national database by our teams.
We use a mixture of manual and mechanical methods to clear areas confirmed by our surveys to contain mines or unexploded bombs, allowing for flexibility in the face of Angola’s varied landscape and weather. In particular, we deploy a MineWolf mine-clearance machine, which is able to clear an average of 20,000 square metres per month. Manual teams can follow-up on land processed by the machine and can also work in densely forested or populated areas.
MAG also conducts risk education with teams in the community and through radio messaging to reach the greatest possible number of people with potentially life-saving information on how to recognise, avoid and report threats. This is particularly important for children and returnee communities who are not aware of the dangers.
Our results in 2020
Land released by deminers and machines
Risk education sessions
Landmines & unexploded bombs destroyed