Tedious Manyepo Herald Reporter
Japan has pledged to continue availing funds for the removal of landmines around Zimbabwe’s borders till the country is free from the menace. The Asian country has to date injected $2 million to Halo Trust for demining operations that have seen over 9 000 mines removed. Speaking on the sidelines of a handover ceremony of a five square kilometre portion of land cleared for villagers of Chisecha in Mukumbura on Thursday, Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Toshiyuki Iwado, said he was happy with the demining process in the area.
“I am delighted to be here to join you all to celebrate the completion of the project for mine clearance in Mashonaland Central Province. I wish to congratulate the people of this area because you can now enjoy an easier life with safer access to vital sources of water and grow crops, herd livestock or gather wild fruits and firewood on land that was previously dangerous. I congratulate all of us because we have continued to cooperate closely together in this endeavour.” Mr Iwado said Zimbabwe’s goal of achieving a landmine-free State by the year 2025 was attainable since no more landmines were being planted nor manufactured in the region.
“We all know the fact that, thanks to the cooperative atmosphere in the Southern African region, no one is planting landmines in this area,” he said.
“This means if we do not give up on our efforts, the number of landmines will continue to reduce toward zero. We need to understand that should we cause any harm to the society now, it would force future generations to bear the costs that could otherwise be spent on other necessary matters and this would continue for a long period of time.” Japan, just like Zimbabwe, is a signatory to the 1997 Ottawa Treaty, which seeks to free the world of the deadly landmines.