MINE ACTION MOZAMBIQUE – ALEXANDER LANGA
For 30 years Alexander’s family only had access to half his farmland and struggled to survive.
“My name is Alexander Langa and I am 55 years old. I am a farmer from the Nyazvitanda area in the Macate region, Manica province in central Mozambique.
After the war I would not go near the power pylons. We all knew that there might be hidden landmines there. My land goes directly under the power lines so I had lost half of it. That was half my income because I could only plant half my crops. Imagine if someone arrived and switched off power to half your factory. Yet you still have a family to feed, children’s school fees to pay for, people depending on you.
This went on for over 30 years. Sometimes we grew over confident and we would walk through the land or even start working on it. Then we would hear about an accident somewhere and we would get too scared again and leave.
Then APOPO came and swept all the mines away. Just like that. They were very efficient. Our land was suddenly ours again. After all that time we were still scared, but we watched them confidently walking around the site after they had cleared away all their equipment. So we began to go back.
They left yellow sticks in the ground to show where the mines were. There are so many on my land.”