An estimated 1.5 million people were killed in Angola during the civil war, with more than 2 million people forced to leave their homes. The ceasefire agreement in 2002 finally brought the war to an end. However, 27 years of conflict has left an appalling legacy of poverty and littered the country with mines and explosive devices. People cannot walk on or farm huge swathes of land in Angola, and hundreds of thousands of people, especially women and children, have been killed and maimed by landmines.
In 1999, TRAID funded CARE International to deploy Mine Action Teams delivering mine awareness training to local communities, land mine survey mapping and mine clearance. The main objectives were to clear farmland for food production, to make it safe for children to get to school, and to make it safe for families to reach essential water and health care facilities.
The Mine Action Teams cleared over 1000 mines and pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) enabling over 5,000 people to farm and walk in their communities, free from the fear of landmines. This project built on CARE’s programme of demining Angola, working with the government and UNITA soldiers clearing hundreds of thousands of mines and pieces of UXO.
Today, Care International continues to work in Angola and the focus of its work has shifted from emergency activities to longer term rehabilitation and reconstruction work.