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.