The Kenya Army Corps of Artillery and Engineers are about to conclude a six-week sensitization exercise for residents of Samburu County on UnExploded Ordnances (UXOs).
The sensitization exercises on UXOs and their dangers are ongoing at Larisoro in Samburu County forms the better part of 375 sq km of land allocated to KDF for training in a gazette notice in 1977.
The sensitization exercise is led by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Eastern Command, Major General Ayub Matiiri. While addressing Larisoro residents, the GOC acknowledged that the training area highly supports the local pastoral-nomadic community with pasture and water for their livestock, which forms the main source of their livelihood. He added that the grazing of livestock has necessitated the need to clear the area of undenoated explosives after every training exercise.
“We have been here for the past one and a half months mopping up the area. We have also conducted a number of sensitization campaigns to the community leaders, school children and general public on how to handle UXOs in the eventuality they encounter any. I would like to emphasize that once anybody encounters something that he/she suspects to be a UXO, he/she should not disturb it and instead report to the nearest civil authorities for prompt action. The unidentified foreign objects should not be disturbed as they can detonate in the process causing fatalities,” said Maj Gen Matiiri.
The GOC cautioned parents against sending children in the range area to search for the UXOs which they use to make some home-made items like rungus or sell as scrape metal ,given the great risk they pose to human life.
The Sensitization and UXOs Clearance Director, Brigadier Isaac Muchendu, who is also the Commander Artillery Brigade, assured the residents of Samburu and any other part of Kenya where UXOs are identified that the Kenya Army has personnel who are ready and are on standby to handle the situation.
“All the residents need to do is to report the cases to us directly or through the civil authorities near them since our ultimate goal is to render not only Samburu but Kenya in general, UXO-free and we shall not stop until we are sure we have achieved that objective. “
Brigadier Muchendu thanked the residents for their cooperation during the sensitization exercise and during training period.
The Kenya Army, one of the three arms of the Kenya Defence Forces, targets to rid the whole of Kenya against UXOs. It plans to achieve this through mopping up of training areas, sensitization of locals in training areas and by setting up a standby team to respond to all cases of UXOs.
Brigadier Isaac Muchendu interacting with locals during the sensitization exercise.
Larisoro residents present during the sensitization program going through teaching aids offered by Kenya Army sensitizing them on UXOs.
Archers Post Sub-location Chief Henry Lenayasa making his remarks during the UXOs sensitization meeting with the locals.
Commanding Officer Eastern Command Major General Ayub Matiiri giving his wise counsel to the locals during the sensitization exercise.
Kenya Army personnel conducting search of UXOs along the Larisoro Firing Range.