Baringo father grieves after son, 7, dies from snake bite

Residents set fire to the hollow of a tree to flush out a snake that killed a 7-year-old boy in Kapkoiwo, Baringo North subconty, December 17, 2017. /JOSEPH KANGOGO
Residents set fire to the hollow of a tree to flush out a snake that killed a 7-year-old boy in Kapkoiwo, Baringo North subconty, December 17, 2017. /JOSEPH KANGOGO

A seven-year-old boy died from a snake bite in Kapkoiwo, Baringo North subcounty on Saturday.

Nicolas Kipruto died while receiving treatment at Kabartonjo subcounty hospital.

"It was some minutes after noon while my son was receiving treatment. He jumped on my chest, got hold of my neck, vomited and died," said Sammy Kipsang, the father.

Kipruto, a class two pupil at Borsiso Primary School, was herding the family cattle in a nearby farm when he was bit by the venomous snake at 10am.

"I was doing some chores at home then I heard some scream. When I rushed down to the farm I found my son crying out for help," Kipsang said.

He said the boy was seated on the ground and complaining about pain on his right ankle.

Kipsang rushed his son to the nearby Poi dispensary but they did not have anti-venom.

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With help from some residents, they went to Kipsaraman dispensary 15 kilometres away, but they were referred to Kabartonjo subcounty hospital.

Saimo-Kipsaraman MCA John Aengwo said they were unable to get an ambulance from the county government to take Kipruto to the facility.

"I was told that the one in Kabartonjo has been undergoing service for a week now," he said.

They eventually took the boy to Kabartonjo in the MCA's vehicle.

Aengwo accused KWS of taking too long to visit the area to get rid of the snake.

"We expect them to come in person and give us a way forward on compensation or educate people on how to co-exist with poisonous snakes," the MCA said.

Kenya Wildlife Service county warden Dickson Tanui sent three officers to the area on Sunday.

Kipkata chief Isaac Tobolee said snake bites are rampant in the region and three children have so far lost their lives.

He said high-risk regions are Kagir, Barketiew, Kapkomon, Rondinin and Repeko.

Earlier this month, Environment CS Judi Wakhungu said the ministry may not be able to pay snakebite victims Sh1.5 billion compensation.

Section 25 of the Wildlife Management and Conservation Act, 2013 stipulates that in case a victim dies in a wildlife attack, Sh5 million is paid to beneficiaries.

Cases of injury resulting in permanent disability will be compensated Sh3 million according to the Act.

Other injuries receive a maximum of Sh2 million depending on their extent.

Previously, compensation for deaths was Sh200,000 while a maximum of Sh50,000 was given to injured persons.

To date, the ministry has received 13,000 general claims from across the country.

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