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The project

Created on October 12, 2014 by APOPO

The problem: There are currently about 60 countries suffering from the threat of landmines. As a result thousands of people, many of them innocent women and children, are killed or maimed in landmine accidents every year. Often this happens less than 50 meters from their homes or in the fields where they work. Detection of these devices is difficult, dangerous, costly and time-consuming.

The solution: Using their extraordinary sense of smell, the HeroRATs quickly and accurately detect the landmines, significantly speeding up APOPO’s landmine clearance efforts and allowing communities to get back on their land to live their lives without fear. The HeroRATs are too light to set off the landmines, and can search around 200 m2 in 20 minutes. This would take an engineer with a metal detector several days. To date, APOPO has cleared over 21 million m2 of contaminated land and found over 104,000 explosive remnants of war in 6 countries, helping over 900,000 people return to their land.

Our project: this project trains mine detection rats  at our training center in Tanzania, before being deployed to minefields in Mozambique, Angola, Cambodia or Colombia. 

The Mine-Sniffing Rats of Africa | Nicholas Kristof | The New York

Nicholas Kristof visits the HeroRats in Angola


Tekimiti Gilbert

Head of Mine Action

Tesfazghi Tewelde

Africa Director Mine Action

Paul McCarthy

Programme Manager, Cambodia

Ashley Fitzpatrick

Project Manager, Mozambique


All donations for this project are private for the moment.