Since 2014 MAG has been conducting non-technical surveys in Moxico – an eastern province of Angola. Moxico covers nearly 20% of Angola’s landmass and is one of the poorest and most contaminated provinces in the country. MAG collect and analyse locations that might contain landmines or unexploded ordnance, confirm whether there is evidence of a hazard or not, and define the perimeter of the area.
The surveys have now been completed and more than 90% of suspected hazardous land has been handed back to local communities – a staggering 108 million square metres. This land has been returned to the people of Moxico, safe to use to build their houses, grow their food, and live their lives. To build their futures, free from fear.
The remaining areas which require additional technical surveys and clearance have been clearly defined, meaning that demining can be carried out efficiently. International support is now imperative to enable these confirmed pockets to be surveyed and the contamination to be cleared. The 244 deadly minefields in Moxico that deny Angola’s most vulnerable access to their land must be prioritised.
MAG Angola`s Community Liaison Officer talks to the villagers to establish where the hazardous areas are.
Moxico’s population is growing fast with refugees from neighbouring DRC and returnees from Zambia. The country’s worsening economic crisis is forcing people out of expensive urban areas back to rural provinces, including Moxico, where people support themselves through subsistence farming. The last three years have seen the situation in Angola become desperate. The 2014 economic crash has further compounded extreme poverty in most of the country, with the majority of people living on less than $2 per day. MAG’s activities can contribute to these challenges, clearing arable land to encourage sustainable development, as well as space for much-needed housing and infrastructure.