Territory: 1,246,700 km²
Population: 22.1 million
Estimated contaminated area: min. 601 km²
Mine Situation in Angola
During the 27-year civil war between the UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) and the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) at least one million landmines were laid. Thus Angola is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world. The exact number of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) that contaminated the ground is unknown and are there still areas, where no information is available about these threats.
The widespread use of landmines in Angola has had profound social and economic implications. More than 85,000 people were injured through mine related accidents and many thousands were killed. The excessive mining of rural areas resulted in hundreds of thousands of returning refugees unable to return to their homes. Instead they sought refuge in the cities. The Angolan capital Lunada has a population of more than four million inhabitants and is extremely overcrowded. There is not enough work or accommodation in the city for the vast numbers people.
The economy of the country is also suffering as a result of the war; there are very few useable roads as many routes were mined and are therefore unsafe. Thus trade between different parts of the country or neighbouring countries is problematic. Angolaꞌs economy can only recover from the war when a functioning infrastructure with usable roads, public facilities and agricultural areas is restored. The clearance of mines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) is the first step in the path to recovery.
DEMIRA in Angola
To help the country to get rid of its remnants of war, DEMIRA led demining projects in Angola between 1996 and 2009. Our projects, which involved demining and training of deminers, resulted in the clearance of many thousand square meters of land. DEMIRA not only cleared roads, but also rural areas which allowed the safe return of many refugees.
In 2008, DEMIRA’s Angolan demining team cleared a 105 km road in the Cuando Cubango Province. The aim of this project was to reduce the landmine risk for the population of Longa and Cuito Canavale. After the demining operation was completed the people of Longa could finally move freely and use the road without fear.
In 2011, DEMIRA returned to Angola to perform an exploration for various projects.