Bougainville plans more bomb clearing work
Bougainville prepares to clear more bomb and ordinance left over from the Second World War.
Bougainville's administrator, Chris Siriosi, says the Papua New Guinea province is hopeful more Second World War weapons can be retrieved in about 12 months.
An Australian led team completed a three week long exercise earlier this month and recovered hundreds of bombs and other weapons from around Torokina.
Mr Siriosi told Don Wiseman the villagers are delighted.
CHRIS SIROSI: It's more or less cleared areas of land that the villages want to access for agriculture and gardening. Not all the ordinances have been removed. Some ordinances remain in very very inaccessible locations of Torokina. Some ordinances remain in other areas south of Torokina. These ordinances will have to be determined clearly and documented before we invite other organisations to come in and assist the ABG and the people of Bougainville in dealing with these World War Two remains.
DON WISEMAN: So you know where most of them are and it's a matter of just staying away from those areas, is that right?
CS: Yes, well basically the people knew where the bombs or these unexploded ordinances were before the operation so their knowledge was based on their constant use of the land there and the environment. In areas where there is no reported findings of unexploded ordinances it's maybe as a result of people not really wanting to access those areas for farming or for gardening or for other purposes.
DW: So when do you think you'll get around to getting another team in?
CS: Well as far as I'm concerned what needs to happen is for a team of experts to move into the area in the future and document what ordinances are lying around here in terms of these hazards material and then bring it to the attention of the government. In actual fact you'd be looking at a period of one year, one year before something is done again.
DW: Okay, so you've set a timetable.
CS: My office prepares one year to do this lead up work before a decision is made on an invitation being sent out for people to come and assist us.
DW: So in that intervening 12 months you will have people come in and they'll be finding out where all the bombs are.
CS: Yes, exactly we need a team of experts to come in and document where the bombs are, which locations, and act properly and document it and relate it to maps, maps consisting of settlements and all that kind of thing. Because you don't want an operation to come in and do this work, it's too expensive having people sitting down idle waiting for such work to be done. So it's best for us to do the work of identifying the bombs, their locations and then make a decision on whether or not to invite experts to come in.
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