You discover that you are in the middle of a minefield: drive on or go back? The United Nations estimates that, with current technology, it will take over a 1000 years to clear all the landmines in the world.
Africa has the most amount of mines than any other continent. Angola and Egypt have more landmines than Iraq and Afghanistan combined and Zimbabwe is one of the densest minefields on Earth with an estimated 5500 mines per kilometre.
Yet, since 1997, African giant pouched rats ( the size of a cat) have been trained to detect and help dismantle mines. These rats are indigenous to Morogoro in Tanzania and appear keen to learn. This is fortuitous because these rats can clear an area the size of a tennis court in 30 minutes. A human with all the latest demining kit takes 4 days.
6 Steps to Survive a Minefield
- In a mined area, get local information about the markers used to identify minefields. Sometimes, the marker is a bunch of sticks or pile of rocks. In other areas, warning signs have been posted on fences or rocks have been painted a distinctive colour.
- If you see a mine, do not touch.
- If a mine explodes and causes an injury, stop all movement.
- Do not rush to aid a blast victim. Grab your medical kit and exit your vehicle via the window, climbing over the front of the vehicle. Walk slowly and carefully along the vehicle tracks.
- Sit on your flak jacket and wear a helmet. Many injuries are sustained by hitting your head against the vehicle’s roof during a mine blast.
- Keep to the tarred roads even when Turing your vehicle around.
Learn how to recognise a minefield before it is too late. Join one of our courses and learn new life skills.
Landmines are often encased in waterproof plastic. Floods enable the mines to float and they move along with the flow. Get out of the water.