Humanitarian Mine Action in Mozambique

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Mozambique is a geographically vast country populated by diverse ethnic and linguistic groups. While most areas are not heavily mined, landmines and UXO still affect a large part of its population. The author discusses the past, present and future of mine action in this country.

by Dr. Hildegard Scheu, Consulting and Training

Introduction and Background

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, Geneva, commissioned three pilot studies on Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) of humanitarian mine action (HMA) during 2002. Fact-finding missions were undertaken in Cambodia, Nicaragua and Mozambique1 to assess the general state of play in humanitarian mine action programmes and activities, including the current provisions for victim assistance, and to explore the potential of applying PM&E techniques to humanitarian mine action. A compilation of the history and recent developments in humanitarian mine action in Mozambique is summarized here.

Mozambique is a huge country with a land surface of 799,380 square kilometres and a long eastern coastline of approximately 2,700 kilometres. The population of about 18 million (2002)2 is composed of different ethnic, linguistic and religious groups. Mozambique is among the least developed countries in the world. It has a gross national product (GNP) of $230 (U.S.) per capita and a poverty level of almost 70 percent.3 According to 1999 figures, life expectancy is 39.8 years, the adult illiteracy rate is 56.8 percent, and the primary school enrolment rate is only 40 percent. HIV/AIDS is becoming a major problem with an overall adult prevalence of about 14 percent of the population above 15 years.4

The traditional system of governance, which the socialist Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) government sought to abolish after independence, still operates in many villages, but legitimacy, functions and power differ from place to place. “The level of respect given to the traditional versus the government leadership seems to vary a great deal.”5 Therefore, it is essential to study and understand the governance systems in place in a village and the complexities of community structures if HMA is to be effective and make an impact on the livelihood of those affected by mines.

The Landmine Situation in Mozambique

Mine and UXO Contamination
Landmines were first used by the Portuguese during the liberation war of the FRELIMO against the Portuguese Colonial Power between 1964 and 1974. After independence in 1975, FRELIMO formed the government and followed a Marxist approach, which was soon violently opposed by the Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) supported by Rhodesia and South Africa. The civil war between 1977 and 1992 caused millions of people to flee their villages and live as internally displaced persons (IDPs) or refugees.
Most of the landmines laid down in Mozambique were emplaced by FRELIMO and RENAMO between 1978 and 1990. The government used landmines mainly to protect important infrastructure and strategic sites. Minefields were also laid along the borders with Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. RENAMO targeted major infrastructure to weaken the economy; roads, railways and power lines were heavily mined. Both sides have been accused of having used mines to terrorise civilians.

The Peace Agreement that ended the civil war was signed in Rome in October 1992, and a UN peacekeeping force, the United Nations Operation in Mozambique (UNOMOZ), was deployed to oversee the two-year transition period until multiparty elections were held in 1994.

Early estimates of the magnitude of the landmine problem in Mozambique have been modified as more data has become available, and the landmine problem is now considered to be much less severe than assessed after the 1992 peace accord. Currently, landmines no longer figure as one of the main obstacles facing the country.6

Mozambique experienced devastating floods in 2000 in the southern provinces of Gaza, Maputo and Inhambane, which killed about 600 people, displaced about 200,000 and affected the livelihood of about two million people. The country also suffered a major flood in 2001 in the central provinces of Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia. After the floods, it was feared that displaced mines would pose an uncontrollable risk, but fortunately, the accident rate did not increase. Mine specialists claimed that mines might have been washed into the river and into the ocean and in some rare cases might have floated to other areas, but in general this has not grown into a major problem.

Most areas are not heavily mined, but the presence—or even assumed presence—of landmines and UXO remains a significant obstacle to development. “A substantial demining capacity will therefore be needed for many years to come. However, the priorities will appear less pressing, and it will be necessary to restructure organisational responses.”7

History of Mine Action
Mine action in Mozambique started in 1993. A preliminary plan of action was developed in January 1993, but approved by FRELIMO and RENAMO only in November. Its emphasis was on clearing roads to facilitate the UNOMOZ peace mission, humanitarian aid delivery and the return of refugees and IDPs. The focus on emergency-oriented objectives “resulted in a failure to recognise the need for long-term demining in the country. In addition, little attention was placed on the needs for comprehensive data gathering and the establishment of sustainable indigenous capacities.”8

The United Nations wanted to establish a mine action unit of its own, to be converted into a national capacity at the termination of the UNOMOZ mission. But donors did not support this plan and remained committed to securing demining contracts for specific non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or commercial operators. The difference in approaches between the United Nations and the major donors is seen as the major obstacle in establishing a functioning central coordinating mechanism.9

Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) was the first organisation to establish a demining capacity in Mozambique in 1993. Areas for clearance were selected on the basis of expected refugee return; priorities were set by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which also co-financed the clearance operations.

The Hazardous Area Life-Support Organization (HALO) Trust carried out a first national Level One Survey of the mine situation in 1993 under contract for the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Assistance Coordination (UNOHAC). The survey did not cover the whole country and recorded only 981 mined areas of the 1,761 registered in the National Mine Clearance Commission’s database by early 1999. It also did not address the socio-economic impact of landmines.

With the United Nations having difficulties establishing its own mine clearance capacity, the organisation began in mid-1993 a tender process for a $12 million road clearance contract. A consortium of commercial companies was finally contracted in mid-1994. The United Nations’ Accelerated Demining Programme (ADP) started its activities in the southern provinces at the end of 1994. At the same time a demining school was established. After UNOMOZ withdrew in December 1994, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) took over the management and financial support of ADP.

Mine Action Coordination
Since the end of the civil war, mine action operations in Mozambique, be they humanitarian or commercial, have been carried out with a minimum of monitoring, coordination or planning at the national level. The establishment of relatively independent NGO capacities in Mozambique, which persists today, can largely be seen as a reaction to the slow United Nations response.10

The National Demining Commission (CND), established in May 1995 with representatives from seven ministries, was supposed to coordinate operations, maintain a national database, develop strategic plans and set procedures for prioritisation. CDN, however, proved unable to develop the capacity to set national priorities. After the development of the “National Mine Clearance Strategy Approach” (November 1998), following negotiations among the government of Mozambique, the UNDP and major donors, CDN was replaced by a new body with larger autonomy from ministerial control.

In June 1999, the government of Mozambique established the National Institute for Demining (IND) with a mandate to coordinate, supervise and manage the cost-effective execution of a national mine action plan. Since March 2000, UNDP has been providing technical assistance to IND designed to improve the capacity of the latter to fulfil its mandate, which it will continue to do until March 2003. A National Demining Fund was also established.

IND is a semi-autonomous governmental institute that reports directly to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In order to integrate overall development priorities in the national plan, IND organises inter-ministerial coordination biannually. IND has a regional office in Nampula and one in Sofala province.

A National Mine Action Plan, based on the results of the Landmine Impact Survey (LIS), was formulated in November 2001.11 The plan covers a period of five years (2002-2006), with subsequent annual work plans scheduled. UNDP and the donors hope that the national plan will enhance and improve the coordination and prioritisation of operations. The Mine Action Plan recognizes the need for “aggressive and sustained Mine Risk Education and marking campaigns to be re-launched”12 based on the Program for the Prevention of Mine Accidents (PEPAM), which was executed by Handicap International (HI) in cooperation with the government between 1995 and 2001. The Plan also affirms IND’s coordinating role “to develop a coherent and coordinated national Survivor and Victim Assistance Policy and Program that adopts an integrated long-term approach to the plight of victims and survivors.”13 The responsibility for Survivor and Victim Assistance is shared between the Ministry of Health (MINSAU) and the Ministry for Women and the Coordination of Social Action (MMCAS).

Mozambique Landmine Impact Survey (2001)
The Mozambique Landmine Impact Survey (MLIS) was performed between January 1999 and August 2001 on behalf of the mine-action authorities of the government of Mozambique. Funding ($2.2 million) was provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) as part of the Canadian Mine Action Programme in Mozambique.

The principal findings were as follows:14

  • Landmines affect all 10 provinces of Mozambique and 123 out of 128 districts.
  • At least 1.5 million persons, representing no less than nine percent of the national population in 1997, are affected by landmines.
  • Of the landmine-affected communities, 768 are classified as rural; however, 23 urban communities, including three with more than 30,000 inhabitants are also affected.
  • A total of 1,374 Suspected Mined Areas (SMAs) were identified. They cover an estimated 562 square kilometres. Some 41 percent cover areas of less than 1,000 square metres and less than five percent are larger than one square kilometre.
  • Nine years after the end of the hostilities, landmine accidents still occur: at least 172 of the total of 2,145 landmine victims recorded during the MLIS had come to harm during the two years preceding it.
  • SMAs most frequently impact agricultural land, roads and non-agricultural land used for hunting, gathering firewood, and other economic and cultural purposes. Blocked access to drinking water due to SMAs is less frequent, but it nonetheless has a serious impact.
  • Drawing on the Mine Impact Score (MIS), 20 communities with 36,000 inhabitants are classified as high-impact, 164 communities with 393,000 inhabitants are classified as medium-impact, and 607 communities with 1.1 million inhabitants are classified as low-impact.

This classification is used for priority setting for Technical Surveys (Survey II) and clearance operations in the Five-Year National Mine Action Plan 2002–2006.
The MIS is a standardized ranking instrument approved by the Survey Working Group. It reflects three aspects of the mine situation as it affects a given community:

  • The types of landmines, UXO and munitions
  • The categories of land, infrastructure and service areas to which landmines or UXO are blocking access
  • The number of victims of landmines or UXO in the two years preceding the group interviews of the (LIS)15
Landmine Victim Data
Reliable data on mine victims is not available. Compared to other mine-affected countries, the numbers are comparatively low and definitely declining over time. A study carried out by HI in 1993 found that 50–60 percent of the mine accidents were fatal because the victims lacked (rapid) access to health services.

In 1996, HI began the systematic collecting of data on mine and UXO accidents under its Project of National Coordination of Educational Activities for the Population to Prevent Mine Accidents (PEPAM).16 Between 1996 and 2000, 564 victims were recorded, specifically 309 men, 84 women and 171 children under 15 years old. Sixty-seven percent of all accidents occurred in the provinces of Maputo, Inhambane and Zambézia, and only seven percent in the northern provinces of Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado. The majority of accidents occurred while the victims were engaged in subsistence activities. The fact that men constitute the majority of the victims may be explained by their greater involvement in economic activities like farming, hunting and transportation. An additional hypothesis is that there is also an underreporting bias in the case of women. Children become victims mainly either as a result of manipulating grenades, ammunition and other UXO or parts thereof or when helping with subsistence tasks such as herding animals, collecting firewood, or harvesting and hunting. The study concluded that continued mine risk reduction education (MRRE) is important especially for making children aware of the dangers of mines and UXO.17

Of the 1,729 communities polled by the LIS,18 791 identified themselves as mine-affected. Of these, 429 communities reported a total of 2,145 victims since 1964, the start of the independence struggle. This total must be considered a minimum, since 31 communities reported “many” victims but could not give even an approximate estimate. Generally, as the number of mine victims is low in both absolute and relative terms, their medical, economical, social and psychological needs do not figure prominently in social programmes in Mozambique.

The Socio-Economic Impact of Mines
While the victim rate is used as a major indicator of the socio-economic impact of mines, other aspects of impact have only recently begun to be explored in more detail in Mozambique. Ananda S. Millard from the Assistance to Mine-Affected Communities (AMAC) Project at the International Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) conducted an impact study in three mine-affected communities in Mozambique in 2000.19

Mine clearance operators work on the assumption that the physical removal of mines will have an “automatic impact,” which is not always the case. Also, there may sometimes be negative effects. In order to analyse the possible impact, operators have to find answers to a number of questions, such as: How will the resources freed by demining affect the distribution of wealth in a community? How do mines affect power relationships among the population? Who will benefit from demining?

Operators should establish knowledge of land rights, land ownership and local land tenure systems prior to clearance. Similarly, knowledge and understanding of local relations and local leadership structures is essential, as local leadership is not standardised across communities. Respecting the authority (or authorities) in the village and building relationships with the community is a precondition for maximising impact. “The broad issue of community relationships is closely linked to the more special issue of confidence in clearance.”20 Confidence building is a process rather than an event. Millard found that in many cases, the population did not use the cleared land immediately. Instead it takes a long time before somebody starts using the area. When no accident happens, other people might follow. It “seems that this is often linked to confidence in clearance.”21 Clearing a minefield according to existing technical standards is simply not good enough. Unless the areas are trusted and taken into use, the operation has failed.

The ultimate objective of humanitarian mine clearance is making an impact on people’s livelihoods. Millard and Harpviken argue for the necessity to follow-up project areas regularly after project completion in order to be able to evaluate the long-term impact of demining.

Many mine-affected communities have developed coping strategies to deal with the situation that certain resources cannot be used. If the land cleared is not of vital importance to people, a high level of confidence is needed for them to use that land. “For agencies, it is essential to know the degree to which affected people are dependent upon the resource that is being freed through demining.”22

The Capirizanje case study illustrates the potentially distorting consequences of failing to consider the full impact of a clearance. The intended objective of the clearance at Capirizanje was to facilitate the return of refugees that would pass through the area and to reduce the accident potential. The actual result, however, was that many returning refugees decided to settle in the newly cleared area instead of just passing through. If the operators had tried to understand the perspectives of those being affected by the operation, this impact could have been foreseen. Operators need to be able to identify the impact that an operation will have for the local population.

In the spring of 2001, Ananda Millard also carried out a pilot study in Manica province using the community study approach. The pilot study used information from the CIDC LIS to identify nine communities as sites for the studies. The two high-impact communities and seven medium-impact ones (picked from a larger number of medium-impact communities in Manica province) were selected. None of these nine communities had previously undergone a technical survey.

Ananda Millard first trained 10 local NPA staff in the “philosophy” of impact assessment and impact maximising, in the use of methodological tools and in data analysis and report writing. Group interviews, open interviews with key locals and surveys were used as the primary methods, complemented by a review of secondary documents (when available) and participatory observations during the field work. Three teams were formed and each conducted three community studies each.

Only one village out of nine, which was close to a minefield at the Zimbabwean border, had suffered a number of accidents involving civilians in the recent past. Some villages reported accidents immediately after the war, but not in recent years, which can be seen as an indication that people had identified the locations of mines and UXO and knew to avoid those areas. There was no shortage of cultivable land, and subsistence activities like hunting, fishing or charcoal production were not prevented by the presence of mines. Consequently, none of these eight villages identified demining as their chief priority in regards to external assistance. Nevertheless, all villages expressed the wish to host a demining agency, because of the positive side effects of hosting an HMA agency, such as the improvement of roads and transport availability.

The community study approach has proved to be an important tool for setting priorities and is particularly relevant for the implementation phase of demining projects.
As Millard and Harpviken note, “In a country like Mozambique, where the majority of tasks have only a micro-level impact, where the number of accidents is rarely an accurate indication of impact level, and where communities have largely developed alternatives to using mined areas, the community study approach is very useful in the identification of priorities. Moreover, the need to ensure that impact materializes also requires a clear understanding of how the community functions and how operators might best adapt their work to suit a particular village. On this basis, the community study approach seemed an appropriate tool to fulfil NPA’s needs.”23

The study also argues that, given the financial constraints for mine clearance in the years to come, it is of crucial importance to consider economic and social impact in setting priorities for demining and that alternatives to the removal of mines also be explored in order to support the development of communities.

Mine Clearance

From 1992 to 2000, a total of 200,169,636 square metres was cleared, including 60,821,630 square metres of land, 68,323,951 kilometres of road, 68,813,455 square metres of power line conductors and 2,260,000 square metres of railway lines. A total of 71,476 anti-personnel mines, 538 anti-tank mines and 34,386 UXO were removed and destroyed.

In 2001, four major humanitarian organisations were operating in Mozambique: ADP, NPA, HALO Trust and HI. One distinctive feature of mine action in Mozambique has been the extent of commercial involvement. By 1997, as much as 45 percent of the total funding had gone to different commercial companies. 24

Accelerated Demining Programme
After the civil war, UNOMOZ initiated ADP, and demobilised soldiers from both sides were trained as deminers. When the peacekeeping mission ended in 1995, ADP became a UNDP project. Within the UN system, UNDP is responsible for “addressing the socio-economic consequences of landmine contamination and for supporting national/local capacity building” as well as “for the development of integrated, sustainable national mine action programmes.”25

At present, ADP is undergoing transformation into an independent national NGO. UNDP will continue to mobilise funds for ADP, but upon completion of ADP’s registration as an NGO, donors may choose to fund the programme directly.

ADP operates in the three southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane. Its annual budget is approximately $4 million. ADP employs approximately 500 Mozambican nationals and five international advisers, who are responsible for management, operations and quality assurance.

The field operations consist of 10 manual demining platoons, two independent demining sections for smaller clearance tasks, four survey teams and a mine-detection dog team. The Finnish Flail Team provides a Mechanically Assisted Mine Clearance capability. The demining platoons are capable of operating in small groups that rapidly respond to priority tasks. The Mine Clearance Training Wing of ADP runs a Demining Training School in Moamba near Maputo, which supplies technical demining training (e.g. the use of specific mine detectors suited for very highly contaminated soils), refresher training, and survey courses for survey team commanders. Deminers from NPA and HALO Trust were also trained here.

Norwegian People’s Aid
NPA operates in the central provinces. NPA employs approximately 570 staff and uses both manual demining units (nine) and mine detection dogs (about 30). It has a training field for dogs and Mozambican dog handlers.

One objective of the clearance project is to encourage maximum local participation in fighting the landmine problem in an environmentally conscious manner. In areas where demining is undertaken, NPA also cooperates with Mozambican government agencies to provide community and primary health care services.

NPA cooperated with the AMAC project (based at PRIO) in the Manica pilot study mentioned earlier. After the AMAC training in the community studies approach, NPA identified a team of three trainees to create an impact assessment unit. The goal of this unit is “to provide NPA-Mozambique Mine Action Unit with information on socio-economic impact at the micro-level.”26

HALO Trust
HALO Trust operates in the northern provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa, Nampula and Zambézia. In 2000, HALO had 125 employees and a budget of $1,105,426.27
Priorities for clearance are set in coordination with the respective provincial governor, who gives his priority ranking to a list with surveyed areas given by HALO, which is then compared against HALO’s own ranking. A final decision is made jointly. A socio-economic impact assessment prior to operations is not performed.

HALO’s “simple mission statement—getting mines out of the ground, now”28 seems to be reflected in the way it operates: establishing communication, creating rapport and building confidence with the community in proximity of the clearance operation is not an explicit part of their mission.29

Handicap International (HI)
In 1997, HI started its Inhambane Mine Clearance Project (IMCP) in Inhambane province. It recruited and trained four teams of 36 deminers. In 2001, HI employed four teams of 12 deminers each, one team of 22 deminers, and one team of eight people for technical surveys. It also hires dogs with their handlers from South Africa when needed. Efforts are concentrated on those small areas that are in close proximity to settlements in order to meet the needs of local, district and provincial populations. “Proximity demining” also refers to the close contact maintained between the demining teams and the affected population.

HI selects potential sites for demining on the basis of priority, local needs, immediate value to local communities, local plans, potential rehabilitation funding, minefield size and input from other organisations. Priorities are set in collaboration with the provincial and district administrations. Close contacts are established with the local communities at demining sites.

People Against Landmines (Menschen gegen Minen)
Menschen gegen Minen (MgM) is a German NGO that has been working in humanitarian mine clearance since 2000. After the floods at the Limpopo River in 2000, MgM handled emergency tasks. Currently it is working on a mine-suspected area along the railway line in the Limpopo valley in Gaza province. Manual demining teams, two dog teams and mechanical equipment are used. The demining teams also assist the local population in clearing singular mines and UXO when called upon.

Commercial Companies
In 2000, the U.S. State Department provided $3.14 million for demining to RONCO, an American company. The company employs about 100 Mozambican deminers in eight teams with mine detection dogs. One major task is the clearance of the Sena Railway Line. RONCO also provides support to IND to train their personnel and improve the database.

Humanitarian agencies and donors, including UNHCR, UNICEF, the European Union and the World Bank, have contracted commercial companies for clearance tasks, like MineTech (Zimbabwe), Mechem (South Africa), Empresa Moçambicana de Desminagem, Lda, (EMD), Afrovita (Mozambique), Lonrho (Mozambique) and Special Clearance Services (Zimbabwe).

The German Development and Cooperation Agency (GTZ) has hired MineTech for the demining components of its integrated development projects in Manica and Sofala provinces. The collaborative effort led to the development of the Integrated Humanitarian Demining for Development (IHDD) approach and the Community Mine Awareness for Development (CMAD) concept.30

Armed Forces of Mozambique
In 2000, the United States State Department provided the Mozambican military (FADM) with demining equipment and vehicles as well as funds for demining. Until 1999, the Mozambican Department of Defence supported military training, which also included the training of deminers. The military runs a demining school in accordance with international standards. Though military demining units were involved in mine clearance along a power line from South Africa to Maputo as well as other tasks, they do not play any major role in humanitarian demining.

The military was in charge of the landmine stockpile destruction in September 2001, when about 600 anti-personnel mines were destroyed. FADM has submitted a detailed workplan and budget to IND for the destruction of the existing 37,500 anti-personnel mines in its possession through 2003.31 The government of Mozambique is committed to fulfil the obligations of stockpile destruction as per Article Four of the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention, which Mozambique has signed and ratified.

Mine Risk Reduction Education

Handicap International
HI began Mine Awareness Education Programmes for returning refugees at the request of UNHCR in 1993. Key persons from other organisations like the Mozambican Red Cross, health personnel, teachers and local leaders in mine-affected villages were trained to spread mine awareness messages. Starting from the local level in Tete province, HI progressively built a network of 84 organisations (public and private) up to the national level. HI initiated and coordinated the PEPAM National Mine Awareness/MRRE Programme from 1995 until 2001, when the coordination was transferred to IND. An evaluation of materials developed by PEPAM was carried out and published in 1999.32

After the floods in February and March 2000, HI, in collaboration with IND, carried out an intensive awareness campaign on the danger of mines from March to October 2000 in the southern provinces. Similar campaigns were carried out in March 2001 in the Zambezi valley, which had flooded before.

HI developed a database of implementing partners and activities in MRRE, which operates from IND’s offices in Maputo and Nampula. A user’s guide to this database was also developed and installed in 2001.

HI developed a strategic proposal for integrating MRRE into the education system.33 The proposal has three major objectives: (1) capacity building of teachers and instructors of teachers at teacher’s training colleges, (2) producing and disseminating didactic material, and (3) technical assistance for the implementation and institutionalisation of MRRE within the school system. PEPAM and the Ministry of Education collaborate at different levels: national, provincial (Direcção provincial de Educação) and local (Direcção Distrital de Educação). The technical as well as pedagogical advisors of PEPAM support the Ministry of Education and its departments.

In mine affected areas, 403 so-called zones of pedagogical influence (ZIP) were formed under the local education authorities, each with a coordinator, usually a school director or a teacher—2,065 teachers have been trained.

PEPAM’s technical advisors are also involved in revising of the school curriculum and integrating MRRE as a part of civic education into all relevant subjects. HI’s proposal has been accepted by the National Institute for the Development of Education. The process of revising the school curriculum began in 2001, and the new curriculum is to be introduced in 2003.

GTZ began to collaborate with the Zimbabwean demining company MineTech in 1994, when, on behalf of UNHCR, it carried out the demining of roads in preparation for the passage of refugees. Minefields were cleared around villages, schools, health posts and other vital infrastructure in the two provinces Manica and Sofala, where GTZ supports rural reconstruction and development cooperation projects. GTZ and Mine-Tech jointly developed the IHDD concept that puts people and their communities at the centre. IHDD relies on the local population to gather information about the mined areas and UXO. At the same time, IHDD recognises that since demining is expensive and money available for clearance is limited, many communities have to live with the explosive legacy of the war for quite some time. It is thus imperative to develop means to enable the communities to prevent mine and UXO accidents.

Part of MineTech’s work was gathering information from key informants and giving mine awareness lectures with the help of wooden mine and UXO models to the communities gathered at a central place. After some time, the limitations of this top-down approach became obvious, and a pilot project to develop new, participative methods was undertaken in Cheringoma district in Sofala province in 1998.34 The result was the CMAD concept.35 CMAD is based on participatory, interactive methods and aims at mobilising and enabling communities to effectively deal with the mine threat and take adequate actions. Community-based awareness raising and learning risk-reduction behaviour are the most important elements. Community volunteers are trained as mine awareness facilitators and intermediaries between the local population and the clearance organisation as well as national demining authorities. It is essentially a process of building long-term trust and confidence between the outside mine action agents, the development agents and the communities. It is also a first step towards community development, as the momentum initiated through mine awareness and community mine action (reporting, keeping up marking signs, developing coping strategies where mined areas cannot be used for subsistence production, etc.) could easily be transferred to other development activities.

Cruz Vermelha de Mozambique (Mozambican Red Cross)
The Mozambican Red Cross is a cooperating partner in the PEPAM programme. It carries out mine awareness activities in 56 districts. While HI provides training and material, Red Cross agents and community volunteers implement the programme. Nowadays, there is not much emphasis on MRRE, and the new priorities are HIV/AIDS prevention and disaster preparedness. The Red Cross also provided Mine Victim Assistance in the provinces of Niassa, Cabo Delgado and Gaza.

Survivor Assistance

The number of amputees is estimated at 10,000 people, which includes all forms and reasons for amputation, like traffic accidents, work accidents, diseases, landmine accidents, etc. Special programmes for mine accident survivors or for the families of mine victims do not exist in Mozambique.

The responsibility for physical rehabilitation rests with MINSAU, which runs the nine orthoprosthetic centres (one in each provincial capital except for the Gaza and Manica provinces). In 1995, the programme of physical rehabilitation of disabled people implemented by the ICRC was taken over by Prosthetics and Orthotics Worldwide Education and Relief (POWER) Mozambique, a nationalised NGO started by the UK-based NGO POWER. In 1999, full responsibility was transferred to the MINSAU.

All the orthoprosthetic centres cater to all disabled, and the percentage of mine victims is steadily declining. While landmine victims accounted for 29 percent of new patients in 1997, they accounted for only nine percent in 2000. POWER still provides technical support to the MINSAU for running the orthoprosthetic services.

The Mozambican Red Cross, in cooperation with Jaipur Limb Campaign (JLC), established an orthopaedic centre in Manjacaze district, Gaza province, in 2000. Most beneficiaries are victims of landmines. A plan for a mobile centre could not yet be implemented for lack of funds.

The Ministry for Women and the Coordination of Social Action developed a Policy for Disabled Persons, which was approved by the Council of Ministers and published in 2000.36 HI, POWER and other donors support the Ministry at various levels in the implementation of the policy. But a lot still has to be done to reach the objective of social and economic integration of disabled persons.

Complaints about the lack of concern regarding victim assistance on the part of the government and government employees were rampant.

POWER is working closely with local disability organisations, specifically with the Association of Disabled People of Mozambique (ADEMO), the main association for disabled Mozambicans. ADEMO runs a community school for disabled children in Maputo and is developing a pilot project for vocational training (bakery, metal works, carpentry and probably leather works at a later stage) as well as a pilot project to provide rural disabled people with donkey carts as an alternative means of transport in order to enhance their mobility and livelihood.

Mine Action Funding

According to the Landmine Monitor Report 2001, mine action funding totaled some $17 million in 2000. Of this, $6.6 million was allocated to the IND, and $10.6 million was provided to mine clearance organisations.37

Major donors are the UNDP with funds from Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, and Ireland, as well as the individual countries of Canada, Norway, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and the United States, which fund mine action activities directly.


Although most areas in Mozambique affected by landmines and UXO are not heavily mined, the presence of mines and UXO continues to represent an impediment to development. Landmine action in the country is primarily carried out by a number of foreign humanitarian NGOs and a host of different commercial companies contracted by donors and international humanitarian agencies. The military plays a very limited role.

Although precise data on mine victims in Mozambique is not available, their numbers appear to be comparatively low and falling over time. It seems relatively clear that the needs of mine victims are poorly attended to and that even demining programmes do not necessarily heed to the requirements of the local population concerned.

Due to limited resources and a challenging socio-economic environment, the adoption of participatory monitoring and evaluation approaches would not be an easy task. The most promising line of approach is the introduction of pilot participatory monitoring and evaluation projects in collaboration with the major humanitarian NGOs already active in the country and in conjunction with IND. Preliminary inquiry suggests that HI, NPA and ADP would be willing participants in the establishment of such projects.


1. The author met representatives of major players in Mine Action and relevant institutions in Mozambique between 22 October-3 November 2001. A field trip was made with Handicap International (HI) to two communities with a mine clearance programme.
2.ção _absoluta2002.gif (Instituto Nacional de Estatística)
3. World Bank Report No. 20521: Memorandum of the president of the International Development Association and the International Finance Corporation to the Executive Directors on a Country Assistance Strategy of the World Bank Group for the Republic of Mozambique, June 14, 2000: p. 2.
4. UNDP Human Development Report 2001 (Table 1 Human Development Index, Table 10 Literacy and Enrolment, Table 7 Leading global health crises and challenges)
5. Millard, Ananda S. & Kristian Berg Harpviken (1/2001): Community Studies in Practice: Implementing a New Approach to Landmine Impact Assessment with Iluustrations from Mozambique. PRIO Report 1/2001. Oslo: International Peace Research Institute (PRIO): p. 58
6. UNDP/GICHD: A Study of Socio-Economic Approaches to Mine Action, Geneva: March 2001: p. 149
7. Ibid. p. 150.
8. Ibid. p 151.
9. Eaton et al: Mozambique: The Development of Indigenous Mine Action Capacities, United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs, New York 1997: p. 18-21.
10. UNDP/GICHD: A Study of Socio-Economic Approaches to Mine Action, Geneva: March 2001: p. 152.
11. Instituto Nacional de Desminagem (IND): The Five-Year National Mine Action Plan 2002-2006. Maputo: 19 November 2001 (
12. Ibid. p. 18ff.
13. Ibid. p. 20f.
14. Republic of Mozambique: Landmine Impact Survey. August 2001: 11.
15. Ibid. p. 79ff.
16. Handicap International, “A recolha de dados sobre acidentes com minas e engenhos explosivos em Moçambique,” PEPAM 1996-2000, Maputo: HI, Julho 2001.
17. Ibid. p. 36.
18. Republic of Mozambique: Landmine Impact Survey. August 2001: 31ff.
19. A. S. Millard and K. B. Harpviken, Reassessing the Impact of Humanitarian Mine Action: Illustration from Mozambique, PRIO Report (1/2000), Oslo: International Peace and Research Institute, 2000.
20. Ibid. p. 99.
21. Ibid.
22. Ibid. p. 95.
23. Ibid. p. x.
24. UNDP/GICHD: A Study of Socio-Economic Approaches to Mine Action, Geneva: March 2001: p. 154.
25. UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service): Mine Action and Effective Coordination. The United Nations Policy. New York 1998 (
26. Norwegian People’s Aid-Mozambique: Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines for Impact Assessment Unit. Internal Draft, Tete, NPA-Mozambique 2001, cited in Ibid. p. 25.
27. Mozambique, Landmine Monitor Report 2001,, p. 6 of 12
28. Cited from the web page:
29. See also A. S. Millard and K. B. Harpviken (1/2000): Reassessing the Impact of Humanitarian Mine Action: Illustration from Mozambique, PRIO Report (1/2000), Oslo: International Peace and Research Institute, 2000: p. 85.
30. Mamier, Fritz; Chris Pearce & Ulrich Weyl: The Forgotten Minefields. Universum Verlagsanstalt, 2000 (GTZ Publication).
31. Instituto Nacional de Desminagem (IND): The Five-Year National Mine Action Plan 2002-2006. Maputo: 19 November 2001 ( p. 22
32. Handicap International: “Os utensílios do PEPAM em Moçambique. Capitalização” Programa de Educação para a Prevençãde Acidentes causados por Minas e outros engenhos explosivos. Coordenação Minas. HI Mozambique: Maputo 1999.
33. Handicap International: O PEPAM no sistema de Educação formal. Capitalização. Maputo: HI 2001.
34. Scheu, Hildegard: Community Mobilisation and Mine Awareness Approach. Final Report. Pilot Project in Inhaminga, Cheringoma district, Sofala province, Mozambique, June 29th to September 5th, 1998. Submitted to GTZ, Eschborn.
Scheu, Hildegard: Training in participatory methods and communication techniques for Community Mine Awareness for Development (CMAD) advisers. 8th to 16th of October, 1998, Harare, Zimbabwe. Final Report submitted to GTZ, Eschborn, 1998.
35. Scheu, Hildegard: CMAD: Development of Concept, Method and Approach in a Pilot Project, Inhaminga, Mozambique. In: Integrated Humanitarian Demining for Development (IHDD) and Community Mine Awareness for Development (CMAD). Brussels, 23 and 24 February 1999. Conference Report. Eschborn: GTZ, 38-55. Internet:
Scheu, Hildegard: Integrierte humanitäre Entminung für die Entwicklung im ländlichen Mosambik. In: Landminen und deren Beseitigung, Report Verlag, June 2000, 52-53.
36. República de Moçambique, Ministério da Mulher e Coordenação da Acção Social: Política para a Pessoa Portadora de Deficiência, Nov. 2000.
37. Mozambique, Landmine Monitor Report 2001,, p. 4 of 12.

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