Giles Duley

Galleries: MAG, Angola. 2007

With 10 million landmines, Angola remains the most mined country in the world. MAG is one of the main charities working to clear them

Following the death of a child, MAG begins the assessment of Chifolo, a small village near Luana.
A young Angolan de-miner, takes a rest while the village is assessed.
Clearing one square meter at a time, the painstaking work soon uncovers anti-personal mines close to the village. As well as using metal detectors, the use of plastic mines means each inch of ground must be examined by hand.
With the discovery of mines, the village is evacuated to allow the process of clearing to begin. Chifolo, like many villages, was caught up in the long civil war; both sides occupying and mining the village.
The villagers leave, walking along a road with mines either side. Due to shortages in resources MAG will only be able to clear small sections of the village. Fields like these will remain mined. A refugee returning to Chifolo had died when he tried to clear some space in these fields.
It is often the children that fall victim to the mines. Part of MAG's mission is educating children to the dangers of UXO's and mines. However the often cynical planting of ordanance and a child's natural curiosity makes this an ongoing challenge.
The process of clearing continues in the village. The striped stick mark the cleared areas and show how close the mines were to the village.
An anti-personal mine is discovered and made safe.
A MAG worker concentrates as he prepares a mine for a controlled explosion.