Attacks by one of the most dangerous animals in Africa has already claimed 10 lives in Kenya this year. Counties surrounding Lake Victoria have been facing flooding due to heavy rains. The floods have caused hippopotamuses and crocodiles to wander closer to human habitation. In a recent attack, a 16-year-old boy was horrifically mauled by a crocodile.
The counties of Kisumu, Homa Bay, Siaya, and Migori are the worst hit by the floods in Kenya. As the country struggles to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the floods have damaged property and displaced thousands of people. In areas where people have not been forced to leave their homes, there has been an increase in encounters with dangerous wildlife.
Hippos, having lost their grazing grounds, have started venturing closer to human habitation in search of food. Locals trying to get water and fishermen have frequently had fatal encounters with the deadly animals.
Kenyan news outlet The Star reported the death of a 13-year-old boy at Nyakoda beach, Lake Victoria, in Kisumu county. The class six pupil had gone to take a bath and fetch water on May 14. He was attacked by a hippo and dragged into the water. On the night of May 15, his body was recovered. Witnesses told the police that they saw the hippo with a calf attack the boy as he was in the water with four other people.
According to The Daily Mail, a hippo was also responsible for the death of an 18-year-old woman who was collecting water near Nyandiwa beach in Suba Sub-County. Last week, three fishermen have also been killed by hippos on three separate occasions.
Crocodiles have also been a menace to villagers. A 16-year-old boy survived a crocodile attack at Kamser Nyagowa village in Homa Bay, Lake Victoria. The boy was mauled by the reptile, which ended up maiming his genitals and gouging his buttocks.
The flood this year has been the worst that the country has seen since 1963, Deputy Governor of Kisumu County Mathews Owili claimed. He pointed out that the floods have displaced 7,196 households to camps while another 1,579 have been integrated with other communities.