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Japan funds lifesaving survey and clearance in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Some of the items destroyed in Kapanga Territory

Congolese lives are saved as the Government of Japan and Norwegian People's Aid successfully clears 450 explosive items in Kapanga Territory.

In 1980 a conflict between the Katangan Tigres group and the Forces Armées Zaïroise (FAZ) left a vast array of Explosives Remnants of War (ERW), including bombs, shells and artilleries scattered in Kapanga territory. The contamination resulted in at least seven reported incidents of accident and injury and inaccessibility to fertile land for 1,401 people living in the affected community. The areas were again reported as contaminated during the General Mine Action Survey in 1999 and the National Landmine Contamination Survey in 2013.

With thanks to the generous support of the Government of Japan, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) was able to deploy a Mine Clearance Team to respond to the contamination and manually remove ERW from the affected area.

Over a period of seven days, 450 Unexploded Ordnance were identified, cleared and destroyed in a bulk demolition by the team. The items successfully removed and destroyed included 231 82mm mortar rounds, 218 60mm mortar rounds and one 76mm projectile. The successful destruction of a large number of items is further evidence of NPA’s efficient and effective clearance methodologies. In addition, NPA's Japanese-funded programme in DRC is clearing landmines, and helping the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo in meeting their obligations under Article 5 of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention by 1 January 2021.                               

With the completion of this latest ERW task, the Government of Japan and NPA have together secured access to land for 1,401 direct beneficiaries comprising 292 women, 538 girls, 405 boys and 166 men. The land will be used for much needed agricultural and residential development.