Threat from bombs is real - Solomon Star News

Threat from bombs is real

18 May 2021
EOD Operator removing the UXOs last weekend. [Photo: RSIPF]

THE latest discovery of about 100 unexploded ordnance (UXOs) at Gilbert Camp in East Honiara is concerning but not surprising.

This is because Honiara city is located on a battle ground and one of the hot-spots where fighting occurred more than 76 years ago.

The discovery over the weekend and subsequent death of two young Solomon Islanders should send a clear picture of the huge number of second world war remains in parts of the city.

Who knows, it might be just a tip of an ice-berg of the danger many of our people are prone to.

History has it that at the conclusion of the second world war, most of the artillery were never taken back home to either Japan or United States.

Its likely most of these world war weapons, ammunition, buildings, airplanes, vehicles and many more equipment have been left behind.

So the most obvious option for them was to bury underground or being dumped into the ocean. 

The discovery by a resident at Gilbert Camp over the weekend has confirmed what had been done with the leftover UXOs.

One hundred and one UXOs is a lot. Imagine if these bombs did went off over the weekend. It would have been an unimaginable story for our people living in that area.

Just imagine how many of similar UXOs are still buried underground in parts of Honiara and Guadalcanal.

There's no doubt, more old time bombs are still lying under the ground and dirt. 

And they pose greater risk for our people.

Although they are idle, they are still active and alive. Its a matter of triggering them and these UXOs can go off any moment.

With rust and corrosion happening, the risk becomes greater. 

Sunday 9th May will go down the history of our country as the day innocent people got hurt by these UXOs located underground at Lengakiki.

They have no idea that something dangerous was lying there. 

So far two lives and this is a huge loss to the families, relatives and the nation as a whole. Its a sad loss.

Government must find ways to approach our partners to come up with a plan to address such situation from happening again.

Apart from that, more awareness about risks associated with digging and clearing of land and soil for development must take place.

If you are planning to develop an area its important to take preventative measures by engaging bomb detection experts to check your area and land before development your property.  

Government must address the threat from UXOs to protect lives.