Enabling development through landmine clearance in the Sengwe Wildlife Corridor
Switzerland will contribute to achieve Zimbabwe’s 2025 landmine-free deadline by supporting a demining operation in the Sengwe Wildlife Corridor. The project implemented by APOPO seeks to return 84% of the remaining suspected contaminated area to local communities which will be used for agricultural development, ecotourism, and conservation, as well as to provide mine risk education so that food security is enhanced, general wellbeing is improved, and accidents are avoided.
Agriculture & food security
Conflict & fragility
Climate change and environment
Removal of land mines
- Other international or foreign NGO North
Zimbabwe is one of the worst mine-affected countries in the world. During the Zimbabwe Liberation War in the 1970s, Rhodesian security forces laid dense minefield belts between Zimbabwe - then Rhodesia - and Mozambique, creating lethal barriers to prevent the Zimbabwe liberation forces from advancing into the country. The border minefield causes serious injuries and deaths and represents a significant threat to valuable livestock, endangered wildlife and local communities, hampering them from developing their productive land. This densely laid minefield also scares away safari and conservation-focused ecotourism operators.
The Government of Zimbabwe tasked APOPO to clear the minefield located in the Sengwe Wildlife Corridor, a wildlife corridor that connects the Limpopo (Mozambique), Kruger (South Africa) and Gonarezhou (Zimbabwe) national parks.
|Objectives||The general wellbeing of landmine affected communities is increased thanks to safe access to their land and the socio-economic opportunities that it unlocks.|
|Target groups||The project will directly impact 3,744 people living close to the minefield and an additional 3,772 people will indirectly benefit from new economic opportunities thanks for example to the development of tourism between Gonarezhou, Kruger and Limpopo national parks. Tourists will also benefit from the project.|
1) Improve access to land for agricultural development, ecotourism, and wildlife conservation by expanding the clearing of anti-personnel and anti-tank mines in the Sengwe Corridor;
2) Unlock economic opportunities and improve food security;
3) Avoid human accidents by delivering mine risk education to high-risk communities.
- A total of 1,630,419 m2 of land is released and the land opened is safe for grazing, agriculture and movement of people.
- 16,895 residents (7,623 on the Zimbabwean and 9,272 on the Mozambican side) as well as relevant local government and conservation authorities are aware of the mine-free status of relevant areas and no longer live in fear.
- 1,917 people in affected areas are sensitized to the mine threat and there are no more mine-related human accidents.
Results from previous phases: With support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the US Department of State, APOPO launched its demining operations in Zimbabwe in January 2021. Until July 2021, it returned 15% (about 1.1 km2) of the assigned area in the Sengwe corridor which has then been used for crop cultivation and cattle grazing.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
International or foreign NGO
APOPO Swiss foundation
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
This project builds on the results of the previous small action ‘Clearing landmines from an essential wildlife corridor, Chiredzi District’.
The other donor is the US Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.
Other demining operators in Zimbabwe are: The HALO Trust, Mines Advisory Group, Norwegian People’s Aid, and Zimbabwean Armed Forces’ National Mine Clearance Unit.
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 903’765 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 361’505 Budget inclusive project partner CHF 2’328’765|