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September 26, 2020
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The woman known as “Bomb Fagota”

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Bomb Fagota is what they call her, meaning ‘pipia blo bomb’ or ‘what’s left from a bombing’.

Osiva Bobogi, from Vamerikure Village in Koiari, Central Province, was called “Bomb Fagota” for as long as she could remember.

Visiting Gaire when she was around 6-years-old, Osiva and her friends found what she described as an undetonated missile, of which they thought was a rock, and played with it.

They ended up taking it back to their village in Koiari and placed it next to her fire place.

One day as two of her cousins made fire to cook, the missile exploded and killed them both, severely injuring Osiva who was a good meter or two away from her cousins.

The cousins were blown to pieces and had to be buried in the same grave because the villagers couldn’t tell one from the other.

Osiva, now has a big scar on her right thigh and lost part of her right foot.

Now a mother of six and grandmother of 14, Osiva and her descendants are regarded ‘Bomb Fagotas’ by all who were familiar with her story.

She said she hated being called such at first but came to accept it over time because not everyone could live to tell what she told.

This is not the first time ordinary citizens have come across harmful ordinance left from WW2.

In 2018, EMTV reported on the bomb found by villagers in the Rai Coast District of Madang provinces and the incident involving two warring clans in the Salamaua Local Level Government returning guns taken from a WW2 site in the district.

Senior Police Inspector, Paul Kipak, said this is an act of negligence by the allies.

He calls on all authorities concerned to take notice of victims like Osiva and compensate them for the trouble they and their families went through.

He also appeals that proper clearing must be carried out on areas around PNG that fighting took place in WW2.

“PNG was not fighting in the war but had suffered a lot during the war and is still affected by the war,” he said.

 

By Natasha Ovoi – EM TV News Cadet Journalist, Port Moresby

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