Rotary Cheque for Halo

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Monifieth Rotary club has presented a cheque to a charity dedicated to removing the threat of landmines from countries affected by war.

The members were addressed by Gerhard Zank, the South East Asia desk officer for the 8,000 strong Halo Trust, whereupon he was presented with a cheque for £4,000.

The Trust is a global initiative, based in Scotland, responsible for removing landmines and ordnance from agricultural land in conflict zones making them safe for productive use.

Since 1988, the Trust has cleared 1.2 million mines in places like Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Kosovo, Laos and Somalia.

Monifieth Rotary president Philip Leckie said: “They clear landmines and dispose of other weapons.

“This allows local people in coutries like Cambodia, Angola and Mozambique to get back to a normal way of life, so they can cultivate land and use paths and roads without the danger of being blown up.”

Estimates vary as to how many unexploded landmines still remain sown in former warzones, but according to the Canadian Red Cross and the Landmine Survivors Network, it could be anywhere between 60 million and 110 million.

Red Cross statistics show that around 2,000 people a month are killed or injured by landmines in one of the 88 countries currently plagued by the problem.

It can cost as little as £2 to make a landmine, but several hundred pounds to remove it safely.

The meeting was presided over by Philip Leckie and a vote of thanks was proposed by Hugh Begg.