1 less landmine

Manica 1st mine blog

We found our first mine!

This is such exciting, relieving, motivating, daunting news…Exciting because it’s a mine to destroy and that’s what I’m here for! Relieving because we base our information of where these mines are from the locals so it’s always encouraging to know that (yet again) they got it spot on and we weren’t just ‘gardening’ someone’s backyard! Motivating because it means where there’s one there will be more. Daunting because it was really quite a big mine!

Needless to say as soon as I heard the news I flew out the office as fast as my legs would carry me, into Red Wing and off to the field.

My supervisor had followed procedure and stopped excavation as soon as he identified it was a mine but as it was our first mine we needed to know precisely what they had found so we excavated further. It was a Russian anti-tank mine…not uncommon here. The scary part is that it was just 5m from the locals path which runs right through the middle of our minefield.

It was the same in Cambodia and it still never ceases to amaze me just how accurately the locals know where the minefield starts and so where to stop their farming or where to create a track. The locals path here is safely used by Mozambicans & Zimbabweans crossing the border and here was a mine just metres from their daily ‘commute’. Incredible!

We left it where we found it, attached some explosive and blew it up.

One down…thousands more to go but it definitely helped us feel that all the hard work, training and 7 day working weeks was starting to pay off. Well done boys!

And for me – those days of Once I was afraid… seem like a distant memory.

p.s I think in good English I should say 1 ‘fewer’ landmine but ‘less’ sounds better!

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