Source: Zimac needs $4,7m for de-mining | The Herald May 19, 2016
Tedious Manyepo Herald Reporter
OVER $4,7 million is needed to clear the 53 kilometre-stretch of landmine field in Gonarezhou National Park.
The minefield is double-stretched and covers the area between Sango Border Post to Crooks Corner.
The Zimbabwe National Army has seconded a squadron of engineers to demine the area since 2006, but they have scored little success due to lack of resources.
In an interview yesterday, Zimbabwe Mine Action Centre (ZIMAC) acting coordinator, Major Chamunorwa Gambiza, said the minefield had caused havoc in the area where almost each household in the surrounding community had lost more than one member due to the landmines.
He said the minefield had robbed the country of billions of dollars as most tourists shun to visit Gonarezhou as they fear for their lives.
“We have seconded a squadron of deminers in that area. But we are saying we need about $4,7 million to clear the area. Demining is a very expensive job, we need to buy requisite equipment like metal detectors as well as financing the day-to-day activities.
“What is very regrettable is that the country is suffering the most due to the landmines. About 300 people have lost their lives in that area alone since 1980. More than 400 cattle and over 500 wild animals have also been killed by the mines. So we are appealing to the corporate world and other humanitarian organisations to chip in and save humanity,” he said.
Meanwhile, ZIMAC is set to hold a two-day landmine awareness campaign from tomorrow to Saturday in the general area of Dumisa, Chiredzi as it seeks to inform members of the surrounding communities about the dangers of landmines.
The move has been necessitated by the growing number of people who continue to ignore danger signs marking minefields. A lot are also leaving their livestock straying into the minefields.
Commander Zimbabwe National Army along with other senior officers and generals will be part and parcel of the awareness tour.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces goodwill ambassador, Jah Prayzah, will hold a free show on Saturday as part of the campaign.
Landmines were planted by the Ian Smith regime during the liberation struggle as the colonialists sought to strangle tactical movements of the liberation fighters.