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Boy attacked by hippo appeals for help

A 13 year old Standard seven pupil from Mkunumbi primary school in Lamu is calling upon well-wishers to assist him get an artificial limb.

Hashim Isaack who is supposed to be in school learning with the others cannot attend school after a hippopotamus bit off his leg in October 2018 at a water pan in Mkunumbi.

The pupil had gone to take their cows to drink water at the Mkunumbi water pan when a hippo rushed towards him throwing him into the water as it grabbed his right leg.

Speaking to the press he said that his siblings managed to escape the incident when they saw the hippo charging towards them, unlucky for him his right leg had already been dislocated at the hip joint making it hard for him to escape.

“I had gone to take our cows to drink water at the Mkunumbi water pan when a hippo grabbed my right leg threw me to the waters before charging towards my friends and my relatives who were with me, they managed to escape but I was unlucky as the hippo had already crashed my right leg making it difficult for me to get out,” said Hashim.

The soft spoken pupil who was rushed to Mpeketoni sub-county hospital for treatment was later on referred to the coast general hospital for further treatment and that is where the leg was amputated.

The father Issack Dubo who is a security guard in Mombasa was unable to meet the cost of treatment that was needed for his son until the wound healed.

Dubo said that he approached the hospital management requested to have the son discharged as the medical bill rose daily, he was told to be taking the son daily for dressing at a health facility.

During the interview, the pupil had gone for dressing at Mkunumbi health center that according to the father, is free after the Lamu hospital management gave him a watchman’s job so as to ensure that he is able to pay back.

“I am poor I am just but a watchman in Mombasa the bill at the Coast General Hospital was too big for me, I took my son home and the Management at the Mkunumbi health center agreed to do the dressing for free, we agreed that I become a watchman since I cannot even afford 100/- daily fee for dressing my son’s wound,” said Dubo.

He called upon well-wishers to assist the son get an artificial limb that will make him go back to school.

“My son is very bright in school but now is in deep thoughts as he can’t go to school due to his amputated leg, if he can get someone to assist him, he will be very happy,” the father added.

Hashim is not alone as human wildlife conflict is common in the area Mohamed Maalim lost his 33year old son Omar Maalim to the same hippopotamus that attacked him when he was cutting coconut leaves for roofing his house November 23rd 2018.

According to the death certificate the postmortem report showed that Maalim died of hemorrhage due to animal attack (hippo).

Maalim had wounds in the right cheek and forehead, cut wounds in the scalp, deep cut wound in the abdomen right and left side, extension of internal organs small intestines.

Ahmed Shidow 22 was also a victim of the same hippopotamus that killed Maalim and maimed Hashim.

The families have been waiting for a word from the Kenyan Wildlife Service’s warden in Lamu whether they will get compensated.

Since 2017-2018 over 50 people have died as a result of human-wildlife conflict at the Mpeketoni division.

Most deaths were caused by Buffalo’s and Hippopotamus that used to go to homes looking for water during the drought season that has hit the county in the past two years.

The animals would attack indiscriminately even young children were not spared as they became victims of the wild animals.

Lamu county compensation chairman Ali Shee Bwana said that the ministry of tourism said it has no cash to pay the affected families or even the victims.
By Hussein Abdullahi

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