Cablegate: Demining Brings Economic Growth Near Mozambique-Tanzania

DE RUEHTO #1048 2421313
R 301313Z AUG 07




E.O. 12958: N/A

SUBJECT: Demining Brings Economic Growth Near Mozambique-Tanzania

(U) SUMMARY: Sites in MozambiqueQs northernmost province Cabo
Delgado that have undergone humanitarian demining with USG and other
donor funding have rapidly been incorporated into the local economy
including as small farms, stores, and homes. This has resulted in
an improved local economy with new employment opportunities. While
access to basic services in Cabo Delgado remains limited, USG and
other donor efforts in humanitarian demining have had concrete and
positive impacts on the local economy setting the stage for future
development. End Summary.

Demined Areas Rapidly Flourish

2. (U) PM/WRA Program Manager and Poloff visited numerous demined
sites in the northern province of Cabo Delgado Mozambique during the
week of July 31-August 2, 2007. Demined sites have been rapidly
reincorporated into the local economy for housing, farming and
access roads. The bridge across the Lurio River on the boundary
between Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces is a perfect example.
Commercial demining carried out by AFROVITA, a commercial
contractor, and the nonprofit HALO Trust (funded by the USG and
other donor nations) had an immediate impact on use of the access
areas around the bridge. On one side of the river, the newly
cleared land is being used for walking paths to access water for
drinking, bathing and laundry. On the other side, the cleared land
is used to grow maize, cabbage, and other vegetables.

--------------------------------------------- -
Positive Economic Impacts Abound from Demining
--------------------------------------------- -

3. (U) Roadside stores in Impiri, a large village on the road from
the Lurio River, highlight the positive economic impacts. Many now
carry produce grown near the bridge. The income generated by sales
of the produce pays for cloth imported from Tanzania for re-sale.

4. (U) The roadside itself was also mechanically demined. Along
with small stores, the demined area is now filled with new homes for
the residents of Impiri. Contractors cleared five kilometers of a
secondary road from Impiri to a local rock quarry. The reopening of
the secondary road allowed a local construction company to haul rock
quarried at the mine back to Impiri to build roads and buildings.
As business has picked up--generating new jobs for local
residents--the company has made new capital investments, including a
new crane, heavy duty truck, and loader for the quarry.

Basic Services Still Nonexistent

5. (U) Poloff spoke with a woman in Impiri who lost a leg to a land
mine several years ago as she was walking along a well-trodden path.
The woman reported that there is no medical care available in the
vicinity. She does not wear prosthesis and said there are none
available through any government or NGO programs. Poloff also noted
that there was no television and only limited access to electricity
in the village. The elder who escorted Poloff carried a battery
powered radio but said he had no batteries for that radio.

--------------------------------------------- --------
Comment: Much Yet to Overcome, but Demining a Success
--------------------------------------------- --------

6. Cabo Delgado province was one of the most heavily mined in the
countryQs civil war. The efforts by the USG and other donors
towards making the area free from the impact of mines have
immediately contributed to the improved well-being of the local
population. While this region continues to suffer from grinding
poverty and only the most minimal access to basic services, our
demining program is a success and is helping open the way for
provision of these services.

© Scoop Media

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