Following reports made on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, by the Kenya News Agency, a 12-year-old child lost his life after accidentally stepping on a landmine.
The unfortunate incident has led to the unearthing of the great risk caused by flash floods in areas rigged with explosives in Laikipia. The explosive device is usually deployed during military drills.
This is even more timely as Kenya's weatherman warned that floods and heavy rainfall were still to be expected in some parts of the country in January 2020. This is according to a statement released by the Kenya Meteorological Department through its director, Stella Aura.
''Rainfall is expected to continue into January 2020 over several parts of the country. However, the intensity is expected to reduce and there will be occasional breaks.''
The deceased, Leisiwa Lekesier, formerly a standard three pupil at Soit Oudo Primary School was herding his family livestock when he allegedly stepped on the explosive device, which detonated and killing the minor on the spot. His father also reportedly injured his hand, during a separate first encounter with the device.
Police reports indicated that scores of other people and their livestock have, in the past, either died or gotten maimed by the killer devices left behind by the security agents as they train in the area that was Laikipia North Sub- County.
Morpusi Group chairman Francis Kilua has, in the previous years, sought for the compensation of numerous people who had been killed or maimed by the deadly explosives from the government.
''We want the government to acquire the land legally by buying so that it can continue with the training of its security agents or leave the area completely. We cannot continue living in constant fear of losing the lives of people and livelihoods.''
He said that the device might have been swept away by flash floods following the recent heavy rains in the area and landed at the spot where the boy was killed.
In a press release on Floods, a disaster summary by the Better Assessment Better Aid group in January 2012 stated that flooding could dislodge landmines that had been under the surface or buried in river banks.
According to Dr. Ahmed Hassan, a member of the International Federation of Red Cross, was leading the Federation’s Regional Delegation in Nairobi in the year 2004.
Ahmed stated that each year, between 15,000 and 20,000 men, women and children are maimed or killed by landmines around the world every year and among the many victims are Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers who have given themselves selflessly to assist vulnerable fellow human beings.
During the federation, it was also noted that, of the world’s mine victims, about a quarter are children. Many of them die playing with an object whose danger they knew nothing about as was the case of the boy in Laikipia.
Many of the minefields are near villages and other populated areas, and landmines have taken a toll on both people and livestock.
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