Angolan trained staff work in teams removing dangerous items from minefields

Angolan trained staff work in teams removing dangerous items from minefields

The Angola Field Group has been invited to visit Moxico province, where MAG (Mines Advisory Group), a demining organization, is headquartered. MAG has been in Angola since 1994. Moxico is the largest and most land mine contaminated province in the country. It is also home to many former refugees who continue to return and build their lives next to minefields and in close proximity to other explosive remnants of war (ERW).

Building next to minefields.

Building next to minefields

MAG has found and removed 30,000 mines and ERW since 2002, clearing and releasing over 80 million square meters of land for use in agriculture, housing, schools and clinics. With over 400 minefields still in Moxico it is expected that it will take 20-30 more years at the current rate to complete clearance.

Dates and schedule of trip:

Day 1, Friday November 7
-arrive at Luanda domestic airport at 4 for 5AM take-off with national carrier TAAG
- 0615 Arrive at Luena, the capital city of Moxico. MAG will pick up and deliver participants to hotel. Time for rest and wash up
- 1130 Presentation and view of MAG’s base
- 1230 Lunch
- 1400 Detector methodologies and ordnance identification
- 1600 Hotel
 
Day 2, Saturday November 8
-0600 Depart to field locations
-0830 Field brief
-0900/1100 minefield visit (in small groups)
- 1130/1230 mine risk education session
- 1300 visit MAG campsite, about 133km from Luena, near Lucusse, the place where UNITA rebel leader Jonas Savimbi was killed in 2002 and buried.
-1330/ 1500 return to Luena
- 1500/ 1700 rest
-1700 BBQ
 
Day 3, Sunday, November 9
-0540 Depart for airport with MAG
-0845 Arrive Luanda
(there are daily flights to Luanda so if participants want to stay longer and return on Monday this would be possible)
 
Participants will be responsible for purchasing TAAG flight tickets and transport to the Luanda airport. MAG will book the hotel rooms but each participant is responsible for paying for their room, meals, etc. MAG will pick up from and take participants back, to the airport in Luena.

If you have questions or want to sign up for this field trip, please send an email to:  angolafieldgroup@gmail.com  – if you want to sign up include your name, nationality (that appears on passport if applicable) and telephone number.

Foreigners must travel with valid passport and visa.

The hotels are about $120/ room for bed and breakfast
Flights are $330 return
BBQ and expenses $50 – $70

 Risk education, teaching villagers how to protect themselves and their families

Risk education, teaching villagers how to protect themselves and their families


     Click here to download the MAG brochure in full size.

 Watercolor of the Bay and Old Port of Luanda, from the book from the book Luandando by Pepetela.

Watercolor of the Bay and Old Port of Luanda, from the book Luandando by Pepetela.

In January 2015, Luanda will celebrate 439 years of existence. Founded in 1576, it is one of the oldest cities established by Europeans in the Southern Hemisphere. Built for Portuguese settlers, Luanda’s main commerce initially focused on slavery. Today expensive development projects have dramatically changed Luanda’s skyline. The Angola Field Group invites you to a presentation, “Luanda: Landscapes and People”, a historical overview of the city, with Dr. Angela Mingas, Professor of Architecture at Lusíada University, on Thursday, October 2nd at 7:45 PM (note our new starting time) at the Viking Club.

Dr. Angela Mingas is an Architect and Writer as well as a specialist in Anthropology. She obtained her Master’s and Ph.D in Architectural Heritage. She has studied Education, Architecture and Anthropology at various institutions, including the Instituto Técnico Profissional de Educaçao in Angola, Escola de Belas Artes in Lisbon, Universidade Técnica and University of Oporto in Portugal. She is the Founder and coordinator of the School of Architecture and the Centre for the Study of Art, Architecture, Urbanism and Design at Lusíada University and is Director of the Research Center of Architecture at Lusíada University in Luanda. Since it was founded in 2006, she has been the Curator of the Forum of Architecture in Angola. As of 2009, she has worked as a Consultant to the Council of Ministers. 

Angela Mingas, photo courtesy Development Workshop.

Dr. Angela Mingas, photo courtesy Development Workshop.

Dr. Mingas is one of the organizers of Campanha Reviver, a campaign to preserve Luanda’s heritage and as part of this movement, will be organizing a historic City Tour for members of the Angola Field Group. Details available on Thursday.

Everybody is welcome to attend. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Viking Bar which opens at 7:15 PM. Coupons must be purchased. The Viking Club is on the main floor of Edificio Maianga, Rua Marien Nguabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the Panela de Barra restaurant. You can download a map showing the location here on our website: http://angolafieldgroup.com/find-us.

For sale that night, books about Angola, in English and Portuguese.

Ivan is now a poor masculine figure, humble  and skinny, feeble and frightened, beaten.

Ivan is now a poor masculine figure, humble
and skinny, feeble and frightened, beaten.

Remarkably, out most popular character – crazy Ivan the Terrible resurfaced! Following an absence that lasted for more than six months we had lost hope to locate him alive and assumed he had probably been another casualty of poachers. Well, he is alive yes, but unfortunately…. he was caught in one of the many infamous snare traps that are constantly being mounted in the park and neighboring areas. He has become a shadow of the Ivan we knew, and if it wasn’t for the white ear tags and VHF collar I would find it hard to accept that he is the same individual… Our old Ivan, strong and proud, mighty and threatening, undefeated… is gone.
His left front leg carries a nasty ring-shaped scar, evidence of the cable snare that almost took his life. The incident must have happened many months ago and he must have gone through hell.

His left front leg carries a nasty ring-shaped scar, evidence of the cable snare that almost took his life. The incident must have happened many months ago and he must have gone through hell.

It is likely that the worst has passed and he will survive, but it is hard to predict if he will make a full recovery. This was yet another shocking proof that the poaching curse is far from resolved, even in Cangandala National Park. It is highly frustrating that in spite of all the effort put into the project by the various stakeholders and the very significant successes obtained over the past few years, still we don’t seem to be winning the war against poaching and the recovery and survival of this magnificent and iconic species hangs by a thread.
 
Visit our Giant Sable page to read biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto’s Second Trimester 2014 Report with photos from Angola’s Cangandala Park, in English and Portuguese.
 
Architect Angela Mingas leading a historical tour of Luanda for the Angola Field Group.

Architect Angela Mingas leading a historical tour of Luanda for the Angola Field Group.

The Angola Field Group invites you to a presentation, “Luanda: Landscapes and People”, a historical over view of the city, with Dra. Angela Mingas, Professor of Architecture at Lusiada University, on Thursday, October 2nd at the Viking Club, 7:45 PM. More details coming soon.

More than a third of Luandans do not have access to drinking water. The Angola Field Group had a good attendance last week as over 160 participants listened to Development Workshop (DW) director and founder, Allan Cain, as he told us about the serious challenges of Community Water Management. An audio recording of the presentation and PowerPoint are now on DW’s website at: www.dw.angonet.org/forumitem/1429

DW, together with the government, developed a policy of community management of water as part of the Angolan Government’s Water for All Program, called “MoGeCA”. MoGeCA promotes an approach involving local communities in the planning, construction and management of water points, as a basic strategy promoting local development. It aims to improve water supply to the population in a way that each actor promotes the sustainability and maintenance of water supplies.

A MoGeCA book has been published and printed as result of DW´s more than 30 years working in the water sector, together with government structures. The book is a manual on Community Water Management and has become the Angolan National Policy on sustainable water management. Download a PDF (in Portuguese) from DW’s website: dw.angonet.org/sites/default/files/online_lib_files/AGUA-MoGeCa_0.pdf

Training cards have been made to use in communities during campaigns and social mobilizing events. These cards work with drawings and are used in combination with community theater, to spread knowledge on (social) hygiene, water management and waste management. Download a PDF at dw.angonet.org/sites/default/files/2012%20MANUAL%20MoGeca.pdf

Mr. Cain also showed two short videos, a short video about Alice, a mother who watches her children play in dirty rain water on the street while inside her home there is not a drop of clean water for drinking: www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUW67t6I7C27Ycc6XW2Q29Cg&v=AiB_Ivg4c3k

The second short video shows DW´s work in Angola on the water access points they built that benefit over one million Angolans:

Photo: www.afropop.org

Photo: Afropop.org

***An update from the organizers: There is an opening of the exhibition today (Thursday, Sept. 4) at the Museum of Anthropology (Coqueiros) at 6pm; Then there is a concert (with Victor’s instruments and a half orchestra) on Friday at Hotel Royal Plaza (Talatona) at 9pm; Then there are a series of workshops in the following week: this Saturday at 1.30pm is a workshop for kids (8yrs and over) and at 3.30pm a “music and technology” workshop.***

On Thursday, September 4th, there will be a presentation at the Anthropological Museum in downtown Luanda by Victor Gama, a renown Angolan musician, composer, instrument designer, and the man who knows the most about music do povo, the people of Angola. The event starts at 1800 hours. The Museum will be launching an installation created by Mr. Gama, of musical  instruments. The event is open to the public as part of Fenacult celebrations. Click here to read Ned Sublette’s interview with Victor Gama, published by Afropop.org.

Having to walk up to 100 meters to get a bucket of water from a standpost, is considered adequate water coverage according to the Angolan Institute of Statistics. Photo courtesy DW.

Having to walk up to 100 meters to get a bucket of water from a standpost is considered adequate water coverage according to the Angolan Institute of Statistics. Photo courtesy Development Workshop.

More that a third of Luandans do not have access to drinking water. The informal water market in Luanda, pumping river water into water trucks to sell and then re-sell in city bairros, brings in more than 250 million dollars a year, according to a recent study by Development Workshop (DW), a local NGO that has been working in Angola for 34 years. The Angola Field Group invites you to take a closer look at the serious challenges of Community Water Management with DW Director and founder, Allan Cain, Thursday, August 28 at 7:45 PM (please note our new starting time) at the Viking Club. Mr. Cain, an architect, urban planner, and international speaker, will be launching two new videos as part of his presentation. Development Workshop has been working for the last several years with the Ministry of Water and Energy on the development of a new national “Community Water Strategy”.

Pumping stations taking water out of the Bengo River to be loaded into waiting water  trucks.

Pumping stations taking water out of the Bengo River to be loaded into waiting water trucks.

Everybody is welcome to attend. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Viking Bar which opens at 7:15 PM. Coupons must be purchased.

 For Sale: Hand woven baskets from the Zambezi Women’s Cooperative as well as books about Angola, and artisanal rock salt from the interior of Quicama National Park.    

 You can download a map showing the location of the Viking Club on our Join Us page. The Viking Club is on the main floor of Edificio Maianga, Rua Marien Nguabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the Panela de Barra restaurant.

There are various types of water standposts to service communities. Photo courtesy Tako Koning.

There are various types of water standposts to service communities. Photo courtesy Tako Koning.

ADDENDUM

Development Workshop has been working for the last several years with the Ministry of Water and Energy on the development of a new national “Community Water Strategy” called MoGeCA. The policy was developed as part of the Angolan Government’s Water for All Program. MoGeCA promotes an approach involving local communities in the planning, construction and management of water points, as a basic strategy promoting local development. Community management is defined here as a form of cooperation between the community and the government – local authorities and the Provincial Directorate of Energy and Water (DPEA) – or local water companies. It aims to improve water supply to the population in a way that each actor promotes the sustainability and maintenance of water supplies.

A MOGECA book has been published and printed as result of DW´s more than 30 years working in the water sector, together with government structures. The book is a manual on Community Water Management and has become the Angolan National Policy on sustainable water management. Each book comes with a set of cards to be used at training to explain the target groups how to reach sustainable water and waste management in their communities. Download a copy (in Portuguese) on DW’s website at dw.angonet.org/content/books-dw.

Allan Cain is an architect and specialist in project planning, urban development. He has a degree in Environmental Studies, did his graduate studies at the Architectural Association (London, UK) and further specialist studies at Harvard Business School and Bolder, Colorado (in Microfinance and Housing Finance). He has over 35 years of professional experience in developing countries, many of those in conflict and post-conflict Angola. He has worked as a consultant and lead research projects for the World Bank, UN Habitat the European Union and other international organisations. He has lectured at universities in Canada, China, Angola, Norway, USA, South Africa and UK. He is the director of Development Workshop and a member of the boards of several development institutions. His articles and papers have been published widely in international journals. He is co-founder and president of KixiCrédito, Angola’s first non-bank microfinance institution and has pioneered housing micro-finance in Angola and is currently a member of the international board of directors of BPD Water and Sanitation, representing the civil-society sector.

DW is engaged as a critical partner in the Angolan Government’s decentralisation programme in the areas of municipal participatory planning and land tenure reform. Their current program in Angola has parallel focuses; on peri-urban communities where the provision of infrastructure, basic services and community economic development remains a serious challenge, and on supporting the rehabilitation of social infrastructure and supporting the processes of settlement and social infrastructure for communities in the central highlands and the provinces of Cabinda and Luanda. With more than  three decades of research and practice in Angola, DW has been able to offer lessons for replication and influencing public policy in sectors of land tenure, housing, water supply and poverty reduction.

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