Residents want KDF to mop up undetonated bombs in Samburu East

A 60mm bomb found in Kaptembwa, Nakuru, on March 21, 2018. Residents of Ndonyo Nanga in Samburu East are calling on KDF to mop up undetonated bombs. [Photo, File]

Residents of Ndonyo Nanga in Samburu east are calling on the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to mop up undetonated bombs at their training grounds in Laresoro area in Samburu East.

The residents cried out that the military has exposed residents, who are pastoralists, to death traps on the more than 8,000 acre plot.

This comes after the death of two children on Sunday after explosives detonated while they were grazing livestock.

A third child is fighting for his life at a hospital in Meru.

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The residents said the explosives are washed downstream when it rains, further exposing the locals to danger.

According to Gabriel Lenyakopiro, a 60-year-old village elder, KDF officers who used to train in the area as they grew up used to mop up once they were done.

Lenyakopiro said that explosives that misfire and fail to detonate are a threat to their children.

"Our people are exposed to death while they graze, walk home, play and even fetch water," he said.

Lenyakopiro noted that in the past, the military used to hire and train locals who would patrol the training grounds after the army had left in search of undetonated ordinance.

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"They used to hire locals who would patrol the area and report the undetonated bombs to explosives experts."

Lenyakopiro said they access the training grounds to graze from the neighbouring Losesia group ranch.

Baraza Lolmonyi, another resident, said children are at risk since they usually play with the bombs.

"Most of the bombs are blue, attracting children who are grazing in the absence of adults. Our animals are not spared either," he said.

Lolmonyi went on, "Children, women and livestock are the most prone to the explosives. Since our people keep moving around sometimes you find they have built structures where some explosives have been buried."

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The group is now calling on Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychell Omamo to visit the area.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychell OmamoKDFKenya Defence Forces