According to an iPolitics article by Ontario NDP MP Cheryl Hardcastle, landmine contamination in Zimbabwe, Angola, and Cambodia has a serious impact upon rural communities’ abilities to produce food. Mines deny farmers access to land, depress food production, and even kill valuable livestock. Landmines are partially responsible for transforming post-Civil War Angola from a net exporter to a net importer of foodstuffs.
In Zimbabwe, the poorest people live in rural areas and depend on farming to make a living. But in some rural communities, one household in three has lost livestock to mine accidents. The animals most commonly killed are cattle; in addition to the loss of meat and milk, the household loses manure, the ability to till their soil and to transport crops to market. This can devastate a family economically.
The Canadian government used to be a leader on global mine clearance. Today, despite giving generously in places like the Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Columbia, we don’t fund clearance in food-insecure regions like Angola, Zimbabwe, and Cambodia. According to Hardcastle, a double of Canada’s mine action funding (currently at $17 million per year), we could help Cambodia and Angola achieve their target of being mine free by 2025.
This article was made possible by the hard work of our staff and especially our volunteers. Please consider supporting our work by clicking here.