THE removal of landmines has boosted agriculture and economic activities and also improved livelihoods in Burma Valley, Mutare a minister has said.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri, who was handing over demined land at Imbeza in Penhalonga to Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Ellen Gwaradzimbalast week said: “The turning point in Zimbabwe’s humanitarian assistance situation was in 2012, when the country signed a Memorandum of Understanding with two International Demining non-governmental organisations, namely Hazardous Areas Life Support Organisation (HALO) Trust and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).
“The two organisations immediately got down to business and have since then released considerable portions of the respective minefields.”
Muchinguri added: “I have alluded to the fact that NPA cleared of 4km Burma Valley minefield, which was handed over in 2015. Reports from that area indicate that there is thriving agricultural economic activity now taking place on the released land in Burma Valley and this is encouraging and desirable for our national development.
“We are indeed very grateful for the work that NPA is doing in this area, you will all agree with me that over the past four decades, this land has been locked to all forms of development, be it farming or any other form of income generating project. I am pleased to announce today that the land has been cleared and certified free of landmines and is now safe for use for developmental projects. We look forward to the local authorities to spearhead the productive use of this valuable land.’’
Muchinguri cautioned people against venturing into minefields.
“However, I wish to reiterate that landmines do kill and as such we discourage people from venturing into uncleared and uncertified land, lest we continue to lose more lives to these deadly weapons,” she said.