An 85-year-old man was attacked by a crocodile when he went to take a bath in Tana River after he had finished tilling his land at Mikinduni area. He has been admitted to hospital in Tana River county after his hand was severed by the crocodile.
The elderly man, Abubakar Jillo, speaking from his hospital bed said, “I had to think fast and I poked the eye of the crocodile, blinding it instantly and making it lose grip of my hand. I have never seen a crocodile that big, it really shocked me and I stared death in the face.”
Residents in the area came to his assistance, but he had already been seriously injured. His hand was broken in two places and parts of his flesh gone. His relatives made frantic efforts to rush him to Hola District Hospital.
A resident in the area, Jobiso Mohammed, said there have been several cases of crocodile attacks in the area, especially when the river overflows.
Janet Abio, the covering nurse in charge of the ward where the patient was admitted, confirmed it. She said, “We receive at least three patients in two months, as they have to be treated and seek compensation from the government.”
Galole MP Dhadho Godana however appealed to the government to intervene and help the residents, saying the water is a major source of livelihood for them.
Tana River is the largest river in Kenya, stretching over a total length of 1000 kilometres (about 610 mi). It originates from Mt. Kenya and Aberdares in central Kenya, with a catchments area about 95,000 km2 which is approximately 17% of Kenya’s landmass.
Different communities including farmers, fishermen, pastoralists and semi-pastoralists utilize the river floodplain for their livelihoods. It is an important life sustenance system that provides resources and services used to meet local people’s livelihoods. The indigenous communities of the river basin have practiced traditional land use activities like small-scale agriculture, fishing and livestock keeping as well as harvesting of wetland resources and products for thousands of years without major impacts on the environment.