A family has been forced to bury the hand left behind of their missing 11-year son after he was attacked and killed by a rogue hippopotamus at Lake Baringo on January 27.
After about two consecutive weeks of thorough search the family finally lost hope and decided to bury their boy’s right hand at Forest village in Kampi Ya Samaki, Baringo North Sub-county on Saturday.
“At least my fellow residents and various government authorities did their best to assist us search for our missing firstborn son Fabregas Kemboi but since all efforts bore no fruits, we had no other option than to bury the hand” the father David Kiplagat said.
Coincidentally he revealed that the deceased boy’s grandfather Charles Chelagat was attacked and killed by stray hippo in the same place in 1993.
After attacking the boy who was accompanied by his age-mates to fetch water, the hippo chopped off and dropped the lad’s hand at the lake shore.
A postmortem report done on the body part at Baringo County Referral Hospital-Kabarnet shows actually the missing boy was attacked by a wild animal.
The deceased boy was a class five pupil at Kapsoi primary school whom the Deputy Head Teacher Reuben Kapkiai eulogized during the burial as clever and hardworking.
However, hundreds of mourners who attended the emotional funeral ceremony pushed for urgent compensation for the aggrieved family.
They also proposed quick water piping across all the surrounding villages to reduce locals’ frequent movements to fetch water in the lake.
“We also want a Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) post installed at Kampi ya Samaki so the officers can hold constant security patrols around the lake” resident Charles Muchinga said adding that the officers were stationed in all lakes across the country.
Muchinga said if that is not done then they will be forced to kill and eat the populated stray crocodiles and hippos in the lake saying they have also started attacking and feasting on their domestic animals.
Another resident Patrick Kipkorir said heartless crocodiles have wrecked havoc after killing his 100 goats in the last three months, “I am now remaining with only 20” he said.
However, Saimo-Soi Assistant County Commissioner Mohamed Sheh noted that grievances saying he will follow up to ensure they are implemented.
Last week, the angry and hungry residents colluded with the KWS officers to kill and feast on the scoundrel hippo that murdered the boy.
Lake Baringo Warden Jackson Komen said it is a normal routine to shoot- to- kill any such wild animals which have tasted human blood.
Baringo County Senior Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) warden Dickson Tonui regretted the incident saying, “Our worry is only if crocodiles may have sensed blood and feasted on the boy’s body otherwise hippos kill but cannot eat humans” Tonui said.
The KWS boss, however, said he will follow up to see to it that the family is compensated.