On October 21, 2022, APOPO’s Mine Risk Education team in Angola held a session on explosive hazards with the Clube Recreativo Desportivo do Libolo, an Angolan football (soccer) club based in Libolo, Cuanza Sul Province.
The football team lives in a building complex of about 200 homes, which is only 5 meters from the “Mangueiras 2” minefield that APOPO is currently clearing. The session had around 32 participants including 27 team members, the team secretary, coach, assistant coach, physical trainer and the kit caretaker. The Reacreativo do Libolo team has celebrated becoming national champions three times bringing much pride to the province and the team has been housed in this condominium for the past decade. It was built after the end of Angola’s civil war in an area surrounded by five minefields.
As APOPO clears the debris left behind after past conflict, which is painstaking work and takes time, these mine education sessions are being conducted by APOPO staff in the community and with players living in the area. The aim is to reduce the risk of injury or death by raising awareness and promoting behavioural change through public information campaigns, education and liaison with the communities. Teaching people how to stay safe until the explosives can be removed for good is crucial, to stop people from getting hurt.
APOPO MA Angola is deeply grateful for the support of all its partners and donors.