BP Angola has set aside US $1.2m for innovative Landmine Clearing with the Halo Trust. The donation will also be used to support HALO’s 100 Women in Demining project.
According to media reports, the initiative supports two teams of women. The teams are recruited from communities directly affected by landmines in the coastal province of Benguela.
The funding will enable women with typically limited employment prospects to gain financial independence and to develop transferable skills, in logistics, fleet support, IT and financial management. All of this is targeted at supporting the educational and health needs of the participants and their dependents.
One of the women working in the initiative, Inês Chipuco, said: “I think it’s really important that women are clearing the landmines in Angola because it saves the lives of both people and animals. In the future if the fields are free we can build roads and schools here. What I earn supports my entire family and I can buy the things that my little boy needs.”
The funding continues BP Angola’s investments to meet social and community needs in the areas of education, enterprise development and capacity building for health, safety and the environment in Angola. In the past 15 years, BP Angola has invested US $100m in local communities and social initiatives.
BP Angola regional president Stephen Willis expressed his sentiments saying that the team at BP Angola is proud to support HALO’s program of de-mining activity. The program and funding will enable the safe clearing of land that is currently a danger to nearby communities, preventing people being injured and allow these lands to be used productively and enjoyed.
James Cowan, CEO of The HALO Trust emphasized that BP’s support for HALO’s 100 Women in Demining project is a crucial endorsement of the latter’s determination to achieve greater gender equality in mine action and ensure a prominent and permanent female presence in demining worldwide.
HALO has been clearing more than 850 minefields and 95,000 landmines safely across Angola for 25 years now. However, more than1,000 known minefields remain