The United Kingdom Ambassador to Angola, Roger Stringer, said last week in Huambo Province that recently his government made available 1 million pounds (approximately USD 1,500), in order to reinforce the financing of demining in Angola.
Roger Stringer disclosed this information to the press, at the end of a courtesy meeting that was granted to him by the provincial governor of Huambo, Lotti Nolika, in the scope of a two-day work visit, aiming to find out about mine clearance work in this central plateau region.
According to the UK diplomat, this amount was made available to the British non-governmental organization The Halo Trust, within the framework of the Angolan Government, with a view to boosting the demining process, in order to achieve the objectives set for the declaration of all national territory free of mines, by 2025.
He made it known that since 1994 The Halo Trust has been developing works in Angola in the provinces of Benguela, Bié, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Sul, Huambo and Moxico, the British Government already disbursed a total of 15 million pounds (approximately USD 20 million).
On the occasion, he expressed concern about the occurrence of accidents involving unexploded ordnance in Huambo Province, causing fatalities and injuries, despite the region having been declared free of mines in 2017.
Data made public recently by local authorities, indicates that in 2022, four accidents with explosive devices which caused the death of seven people and 18 injured, were recorded.
Regarding this, the official defended the strengthening of the partnership between The Halo Trust and the local Government for public awareness in ways to keep away from handling foreign objects, in order to avoid accidents in the future.
He assured that Great Britain will continue to support demining operations in Angola.
Roger Stringer said that his visit to Huambo was part of an important mission aimed at to know deeply about demining actions in Angola, which are being carried out by The Halo Trust.
For this purpose, he said, in addition to Huambo he would also find out about the work in Bié and Cuando Cubango provinces.
Still in this region of the national territory, the diplomat learned about the operation of the The Halo Trust national headquarters and on Tuesday, the second day of his working day, he will visit the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center “Princesa Diana”.
On his turn, the director general of The Halo Trust, Dar Haddow, made it known that his organization has already classified, since 1994, more than a thousand fields that were mined, where it removed and destroyed about one hundred thousand mines.
He made it known that, in addition to the British Government, the official also received financing of USD 60 million from Angola and another USD 500 from the United States of America, which allowed the achievement of the established objectives and the continuation of the actions which are been carried out currently, in the provinces of Benguela, Bié and Cuando Cubango, with the involvement of over 800 sappers, who have the support of various means.
Asked about the reality of the country, he said it is still worrying, as there are more than a thousand minefields, with the province of Cuando Cubando being the one with the highest risk, with 200 fields, followed by Moxico and Cuanza Sul.
He pointed out that the organization´s challenge is to do everything to make the province of Benguela free of mines, soon.
Meanwhile, also according to the official, as a result of its actions, The Halo Trust employs, throughout the national territory, a total of 1,238 Angolans, in various areas, such as sappers, drivers, machine operators and administrative workers.