A 12-year-old boy was blown to death in Laikipia County on Tuesday evening, December 31, 2019, 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, a Grade Three pupil at Soit Oudo Primary School was herding the family livestock when he stepped on the explosive device, which detonated, killing him on the spot.
However, none of the goats and cows he was herding home from grazing fields were struck by the explosion.
According to his elder brother, Bernard Kisier, the minor found the device at the expansive Morpusi Group Ranch, where security agents conduct exercises and ignorantly stepped on it.
“His body was ripped apart by the explosion…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.
Kisier said this was not the family’s first brush with landmines with his father having been injured by one many years ago.
He said that scores of other people and their livestock have either died or been maimed by the killer devices left behind by security officers.
“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 people who have been killed or maimed by dangerous devices.
“We want Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Mati’angi and Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to be responsible and ensure that the affected families are adequately compensated,” said Kilua.
He also said the killer device may have been swept away by flash floods following heavy rains in the area.
In 2003, the British government paid a sizeable sum 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.