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Tribesman compensated for loss of arm and the sight in one eye

A Kenyan tribesman who lost his left forearm and the sight in his left eye when a piece of live ammunition exploded, received enough compensation to build a house for himself and to set up his own taxi business.

Martyn Day and Kipise Lourolkeek: Martyn laughs with Kipise, a Kenyan bomb victim, on a mediation trip to London.

27 July 2004

Kipise was herding livestock in the rural area of Dol Dol in Kenya when he saw a metal object on the ground. It was a piece of live ammunition which exploded when he tried to lift it up. He had to have his left forearm amputated below the elbow as well as his right finger and part of his big toe. He had many other injuries and was left blind in his left eye. Kipise spent a total of two years in hospital.

As the sole breadwinner for a large family, Kipise’s accident has had a huge impact on his ability to provide for his children. He also relied heavily upon his family to look after his everyday needs. He hated having to ask the government for food and longed for a small business which could generate an income without putting excess physical strain on him.

When Leigh Day & Co. were asked by Action Aid to help Kipise and many people like him in Kenya, one of the first things we did was to assess his needs and work out how his injuries affected him, not only physically but psychologically and emotionally. Even though he lives in rural Kenya, we travelled out to see him on many occasions so that the same person-centred approach was used as with all our cases.

Kipise’s claim was part of a group action that successfully sued the Ministry of Defence for £4.5 million compensation. His compensation reflected the expenses of the care he had already received and his ongoing needs.

Kipise received his compensation about two years ago. Since then he has had a prosthesis fitted for his arm for the first time and had enough money to buy some land and to build a new house that was better suited to his needs. He was also able to realise his dream of having a business to provide for his family. Kipise decided to invest some of his money into setting up a small taxi business in Dol Dol. The business is doing really well.

The payment of compensation by the MoD has not only affected the individuals involved but also the whole community. For the first time, the disabled members of the community have been able to work, which has hugely counteracted the deeply held discrimination against them.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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