People's Postcode Lottery has announced an award of £175,000 from players to APOPO, a Tanzania-based NGO who save lives by deploying rats that sniff out landmines and tuberculosis (TB).
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said, "The work carried out by APOPO's mine-detection rats is truly innovative, and I am delighted that the support from players will enable the detection of landmines in areas blighted by war. It is certainly apt that they are given their title of HeroRATs."
Using their extraordinary sense of smell, the HeroRATs help APOPO clear old landmines in Mozambique and Angola, as well as save lives by detecting TB in High TB-burden countries such as Tanzania and Mozambique. APOPO also clears leftover explosives in Cambodia and Vietnam (without rats).
To date, APOPO has cleared over 11 million square metres of contaminated land and found over 50,000 explosive remnants of war in six countries, helping over 900,000 people to get back on to their productive land.APOPO rats have also identified more than 7,000 tuberculosis patients missed by conventional lab tests in Tanzania and Mozambique.
APOPO CEO Christophe Cox said, "Since 1997 APOPO's HeroRATs have been working to fight the scourge of old explosives left over from wars, as well as help diagnose tuberculosis in countries that simply cannot cope with the TB burden. The support from players of People's Postcode Lottery will directly help communities across the globe who every day suffer from the terror of landmines or who are debilitated by TB, getting them back on to their land or back to work as soon as possible."
People's Postcode Lottery, along with sister lotteries in the Netherlands and Sweden, was collectively announced as the second largest charitable private donor in the world, according to British business-focussed newspaper City A.M. In total, over £4.9 Billion has been awarded to good causes across the globe.