More than fifty years after World War II, the Solomon Islands Police Bomb Disposal Unit are still destroying live bombs.During the Solomon Islands Weekly Press Conference this morning, Senior Sergeant Emmanuel Maepurina of the OIC Bomb Disposal Unit stated that since January, 732 live bombs were disposed at the Tenaru area where some of the bombs were also collected. It is estimated that thousands more are around, posing danger to unsuspecting citizens.
According to Mr. Maepurina, all Provinces except Makira Province, Temotu Province and Rennell and Bellona were visited to confiscate bombs. Makira, Temotu and Rennell and Bellona were believed to have never been visited during the war.
Three tours have been conducted to the Weather Coast in Guadalcanal, Central Province and the Western Province. Guadalcanal and Western Provinces were the main Provinces where both American and the Japanese had fought in. This is quite evident from the ship wrecks, plane wrecks, water tanks and the air fields built during World War II.
Senior Sergeant Emmanuel Maepurina advised the public to alert the police whenever a bomb is sighted. Either alive or dead, Mr. Maepurina advised that bombs are not to be touched or moved, as from experience, Solomon Islanders tend to move the objects not realizing it could be dangerous.
Mr Maepurina also stated that home made bombs are illegal, therefore anyone caught doing so will be dealt with accordingly.
"For example, early this year, a person from the Kakabona area was using a home made grenade made from World War II relics to catch fish, exploded before he could use it and was rushed to the hospital where he died the next day." Says Mr. Maepurina.
He also confirmed that home made bomb victims are high.