Angola remains one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, with over 900 million square feet of land contaminated and more than 1,200 known 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. Over the last decade alone, MAG has cleared more than 2,000 acres of minefields.
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. Many people live in abject poverty and rely on subsistence farming, while the country has one of the worst global rates of mortality for children under the age of five.
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. There is a market, a school, a health center and a police station where there were mines.
Village Soba (Chief) JonasAngola
How we help
MAG clears rural land of landmines and unexploded bombs to keep communities safe, while returning land to be used for agriculture and the development of homes.
MAG is close to completing the 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, more than 50 square miles of land that was suspected to contain mines has been visited, surveyed and cancelled from the national database by our teams.
MAG uses a combination of manual and mechanical clearance assets to locate and clear mines and unexploded bombs, allowing for flexibility in the face of Angola’s varied landscape and weather. In particular, we deploy a MineWolf, which is able to clear an average of 200,000 square feet 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 lifesaving information on how to recognize, avoid and report threats. This is particularly important for children and returning communities who are not aware of the dangers.