Phnom Penh, Cambodia, August 27, 2020 – PPCBank aids the humanitarian landmine clearance project of APOPO, a non-profit organization that clears Cambodian land, removing unexploded landmines and explosives.
Years of war left approximately 1,000 km2 of land surface in Cambodiawith indiscriminately planted landmines and explosives. This has resulted in over 40,000 mine amputees, and placed Cambodia as one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.
APOPO incorporates landmine clearance approaches with the use of African Giant Pouched Rats, also called ‘HeroRATs,’ to efficiently detect and clear mines. With its natural scavenging behavior and highly developed sense of smell, a single HeroRAT can clear up to 400m2 of land in a day. Human deminers would take up to 6 days to clear the same area.
Since 2015, APOPO has trained and deployed 43 HeroRATs in Cambodia to sniff out and pinpoint leftover landmines and explosives. The organization has already cleared 18,469,549m2 of land, collected 5,759 landmines, and 40,954 explosive remnants across the country.