NamPol to demine explosives in Kunene

31 Oct 2014 14:30pm
OPUWO, 31 OCT (NAMPA) – The Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Explosives Division will deploy a demining team to some parts of the Kunene Region next week to rid the area of old landmines and other unexploded ordnance.
Nampol Regional Commander for the Kunene Region, Commissioner James Nderura told Nampa on Friday that this action is being taken in response to the incidences where two children died while playing with unexploded ordnance recently.
“A team from our head office will come to sweep the area of Ondore village next week, and they will detonate all the live explosives which they will find in the area,” he said.
The area near Ondore village, situated some 10 kilometres south of Opuwo, was a shooting range of the colonial South African army, and it has never been properly cleared of explosives.
On 29 September this year, two minors from the Ondore village were injured when a 40-millimetre high- explosive handgrenade detonated while they were playing with it in the area.
The two girls, Inaamule Kakondo, 13, and eight-years-old Mabasotoloka Kakondo, were admitted to the Opuwo State Hospital with minor injuries, and released after a few days of treatment.
On 25 October this year, two boys from the Otjimuhaka village – situated about 170 kilometres north of Opuwo in the Epupa constituency - were killed by an explosive while they were looking after goats.
The two cousins were buried at Ohangonga village, about six kilometres west of Otjimuhaka, on Wednesday.
The two children were Noa Ndiaombe, 10, and five-years-old Papii Tutjindo.
Nderura said the Kunene Region was a battlefield during the colonial era, and it was practically not possible to search the entire region for unexploded ordnance.
He thus called on members of the community to report all strange objects which they find in the bushes to the police.
NamPol will always respond timeously to a report of suspected explosives, as there is a division just for that, he added.
The commissioner further called on community members to refrain from touching any objects which they do not know in the field, as these may explode and cause them harm.
“I am very sorry for the two lives which were lost due to explosives, but we can all join forces in reporting suspicious objects to the police so that we can avoid incidences of such nature,” noted Nderura.