APOPO

Improving health and development in post-conflict countries by clearing land-mines /

Today, 63 countries and an estimated 60 million people around the world still remain threatened by the legacy of land mines and cluster bombs, causing continued injuries, stress and impeded economic development. While there is a general political willingness as well as resources available, current mine-clearing methods are inefficient and expensive. The Belgian social enterprise APOPO has devised a method of detecting mines through specially trained Technical Survey Dogs (TSD), which are equipped with remote control guidance and GPS tracking for efficient surveying and record keeping, without the need for invasive methods (such as cutting down vegetation). APOPO has successfully established proof of concept with 110.000 beneficiaries in Cambodia and South Sudan at a rate that is 100% more efficient than other methods and has been accepted as a standard by the UN. To scale up operations, APOPO is now raising growth capital with support from FASE to establish a dedicated dog training centre, with the goal of clearing 51 sq-km of land and impacting nearly 1.4 million people by 2025.