A 12 year old boy was blown to death in Laikipia County on Tuesday evening, after he stepped on a landmine believed to be one of those used for military drills in the area.
The incident that happened in Soit Oudo area in Makurian location, Laikipia North Sub County has sent the village into grief.
The deceased, Leisiwa Lekesier, formerly a grade three pupil at Soit Oudo Primary School was herding family livestock when he allegedly stepped on the explosive device, which detonated, killing him on the spot.
However, none of the goats and cows he was taking back home from grazing fields were struck by the explosion.
According to his elder brother, Bernard Kisier, the minor found the devise at the expansive Morpusi group ranch, where security agents conduct exercises and ignorantly stepped on it.
“His body was ripped apart by the explosion, eyes gouged out, the stomach split open, while legs and hands were fractured into splinters by the device. It is a very sad case indeed to the family and the community at large,” Kisier told journalists at the Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary where the body was taken for preservation amid tears.
Kisier added that his father suffered similar fate years ago after he landed on a landmine and got injured on his hand.
He added that scores of other people and their livestock have either died or gotten maimed by the killer devices left behind by the security agents as they train in the area.
“In 1972, British Army Training Unit in Kenya- (BATUK), camped at Kiwanja Ndege area in the neighbouring Mumonyot location and trained in Soit Oudo. They used to leave behind the landmines,” said a source who did not want to be named.
Francis Kilua, the Chairman of Morpusi Group Ranch called for compensation of the numerous persons who have been killed or maimed by the killer explosive devices.
Kilua lamented the killing of the minor who would be proceeding to grade Four next year, saying it was a great loss to the community.
“We want Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i and Inspector General of Police, Hilary Mutyambai to be responsible and ensure that the affected families are adequately compensated,” said Kilua.
The Chairman said the killer device might have been also swept away by flash floods following the recent heavy rains in the area and landed in the spot where the boy was killed.
“We want the government to acquire the land legally by buying so that it can continue with training of its security agents or leave the area completely. We cannot continue living in constant fear of losing lives of people and livelihoods,” said Kilua.
In the year 2003, the British government paid in a sizeable sum of money to families who had been injured or killed by munitions in Laikipia and Isiolo Counties, where they train following a mutual agreement with the Kenyan government.
By Martin Munyi