‘There is always risk’: The Zimbabwean de-miner in South Sudan.

Share this with others!

Job Tawengwa has lived on the road for about 25 years in his job defusing unexploded ordnances.

This article is part of a feature series, Migration within Africa: Home so close to home.

Harare, Zimbabwe – When the call came from war-ravaged South Sudan in June 2011, Job Tawengwa did not hesitate to say yes. Harare-based Tawengwa, a de-mining and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) expert, knew it would be risky, as usual.

His first call to clear landmines came in 1998, from Mozambique, next to his native Zimbabwe. It was six years after a peace treaty ended a brutal 15-year civil war between the Renamo rebels and the Mozambican army. He joined a team of de-mining experts and was deployed to various provinces of the Southern African country to clear the fields.

Since then, Tawengwa, now 47, has gone everywhere from Iraq to Lebanon and Afghanistan in a life full of uncertainties.

“With this job, there is always risk,” he told Al Jazeera.

For more than 20 years, life in Zimbabwe has also been uncertain for millions of others. Unemployment remains as rife today as it was in 2000 when controversial land reforms hit agricultural output and contributed to an unprecedented economic decline.

Share this with others!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *