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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

HeroRATs Will Transform Ammunitions Dump Into Nature Reserve

APOPO, top-rated NGO and creators of Mine Detection Rat Technology, are crowdfunding to transform a deadly ammunitions dump in Mozambique into a world-class nature reserve, now on Crowdrise.

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MAPUTO, Mozambique, November 23th 2015 – World leading NGO APOPO announced today that it is raising funds via a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdrise to transform a deadly former military site in to a public nature reserve. APOPO, famous for their landmine detection rats that sniff out explosives, also known as HeroRATs, set out to raise $20,000 to support the project which promises to save lives and return land to local communities.

The Malhazine complex, in Maputo, Mozambique, has been used as a military ammunition storage depot for decades. It has suffered two major ammunition explosions and a number of smaller ones, which have killed and injured many civilians and resulted in ammunition left scattered across the complex. APOPO and the HeroRATs promise to end the unnecessary deaths of civilians and lay the groundwork for a world leading nature reserve.

The aim in Mozambique has been to facilitate the clearance of ERW and landmines, reduce the number of accident victims, enhance national development and speed up full recovery from war at the lowest possible costs. To do so APOPO is engaged in the development of a low-cost and efficient mine detection methodology. APOPO’s clearance team includes sixteen mine detection rats, known as HeroRATS, who rapidly speed up the time taken to detect explosive remnants of war.

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Malhazine HeroRAT Squadron

Jeremias – Anfield – Vangoal – Abela – Dereth – Dndvk – Devika – Fiona – Dr.Bila – Lot – Anno – Feroz – Dako – Babari – Mokada53 – Muniria

Watch APOPO and the HeroRATs in action

APOPO Founder, Bart Weetjens, said “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform a site that has killed hundreds of civilians into a vibrant nature reserve that will be treasured by generations to come. The ammunitions dump is known only for fear and death, yet with the help of some furry little heroes, we can return this lost land to local communities and an array of wonderful wildlife.”

The Malhazine project will support local communities and national capacity building by training hundreds of Mozambicans from the ground up thus relying on national staff for nearly all roles.

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APOPO’s vision is to solve pressing humanitarian and development challenges through local solutions for local problems. Clearing explosive remnants of war (ERW) and dangerous items of ammunitions removes a critical structural barrier and a precondition for development.

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The ammunitions clearance and disposal is on behalf of the Ministry of the Environment at the request of the National Institute of Demining, in the Malhazine Ecological Park, formerly known as the Malhazine Ammunition Depot, located in Maputo Province.

The public are invited to support the transformation of this deadly site via Crowdrise using the following link: https://www.crowdrise.com/heroratstower

Mozambique’s Ministry of the Environment plans to transform the Malhazine site into a nature reserve for the public. The site will feature:

  • Recreational area with campsite, children’s area, zoo, veterinary clinic and restaurants (49 ha)
  • Research area (6 ha) and botanical garden
  • Fenced animal/ bird/ botanical sanctuary (about 489 ha)
  • Military museum (about 22 ha)
  • Fenced footpaths through the sanctuary

4 Responses to HeroRATs Will Transform Ammunitions Dump Into Nature Reserve

  • Fantastic! Thank you to these brave rats and their handlers who are making remarkable progress in conservation!

  • Its hard not seeing one of the worlds greatest survivalists in any other light than a scavenger, at the lowest end of the food chain, and having an image of evil and disease. This is a very noble calling for that much maligned mammal. Using its innate and evolutionary traits and characteristics to help and protect mankind from the scourge of the aftermath of war and conflict.
    It would be nice to know that this animal is treated humanely and not subjected to any cruel practices but left to do what it is genetically and naturally suited for, not for experimental purposes. After a period of time doing this much lauded work, it should its reward, freedom.

    Dermot.

  • Its hard not seeing one of the worlds greatest survivalists in any other light than a scavenger, at the lowest end of the food chain, and having an image of evil and disease. This is a very noble calling for that much maligned mammal. Using its innate and evolutionary traits and characteristics to help and protect mankind from the scourge of the aftermath of war and conflict.
    It would be nice to know that this animal is treated humanely and not subjected to any cruel practices but left to do what it is genetically and naturally suited for, not for experimental purposes. After a period of time doing this much lauded work, it should receive its reward, – freedom.

    Dermot.

  • What are you people smoking? these are filthy vermin. I take great pleasure in eradicating them everyday.

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