Monday, May 26, 2008

Liquid Hate - Acid Assult Cases In Kenya

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. This is one thing ‘Bob’ learned the hard way a few years ago when he had his face and upper body splashed with acid by a jilted lover. She cleverly lured him into a trap by asking him to drop her to pick some things at Sun ‘N’ Sand Beach Hotel in Kikambala off the Mombasa-Malindi highway. She had done her homework well and knew that to get to the hotel which is quite interior from the highway, they would pass through some dark deserted areas. Love affairs are difficult to read from outside so whether the lady in question was actually jilted or not is something nobody except the two can know for sure. But I don’t think anyone deserves an acid bathe on the face for whatever reason.

They met at around 8.00 and set off to the hotel. At the most deserted stretch, the lady poured the acid on the left side of his face and upper body. She also stabbed him but fortunately the knife did not touch any vital organs. It’s the burning and the realization that he was staring death in the face in a dark deserted place that was really getting at him. He stayed there burning for close to two hours. Fortunately he survived. He was rescued by a tours and travel van driver who was coming from the hotel and rushed to hospital where he stayed for months undergoing reconstructive treatment. His face was permanently disfigured by the time he left the hospital.

From the reports I’ve read around, an acid bathe at first feels like hot water on the skin. Then there’s stinging and a burning sensation that gets worse and worse as the acid eats into the flesh. The victim feels like his/her face is melting away. A lot of victims of this heinous and cowardly crime die soon after the attack but those who survive require months of hospitalization and reconstructive surgery. It’s like the acid also continues to eat at the flesh of the victim way after treatment commences. Some have to have their faces rebuild piece by piece over time. Whichever way, they carry the physical and emotional scars for life. The Psychological trauma of permanent disfiguration is immense and considering that most attackers target the face, permanent blindness is common.

This cowardly but frightening phenomenon is not as common in Kenya as it is in countries like Cambodia and Nigeria but that does not mean it does not happen. Cases of acid assault reported at Kenyatta National Hospital for example are in the range of 4-5 per month. In Nairobi Women’s hospital they’re few and far between but when they are brought in, they’re of such magnitude they’re not easily forgotten. Acids and other corrosive substances belong to laboratories and industries but the thing is it’s very easy to acquire them. Sulphuric and Hydrochorolic acids which are the ones most commonly used by attackers are both readily available over the counter at Kshs.500 per liter. One can even get then from car repair shops for a pittance. Although Kenya has signed three UN conventions regulating the sale of acids and other corrosive agents, it’s yet to adopt this law within the country.

Acid wielding killers are just as bad as gun totting criminals and just like we have gun controls, we need some regulation on sales of acids and other corrosive substances.

7 Comments:

Mcheku said...

Why do this to someone? There are so many men out there in the world, mmoja akikuchosha you go and get another one. There's no need of burning someone with acid, what do you gain from that?

I hope that lady was prosecuted for the assault and does she sleep at night?

acolyte said...

I had this happen to a family member a long way back and it to was at the hands of a woman. I dont know why women can't just suck it up and move on, that act wont make you feel any better or seal the hole that is in your heart after the break up.
That also reminds me never ever to be in the same sub location as a woman in Kenya if I dump her.....

BP ONE said...

A sad story and a horrible way to revenge..shiko you are right if a massai rungu or a somali sword is considered to be dangerous weapons, I can’t see as to why this corrosive liquids should not be considered dangerous too.

Maua said...

I've no words, how????? If it's over, accept it's over and move on. Nothing in this world can warrant this kind of behaviour, even to my worst, or is it best enemy.

neema divine said...

gosh...this is so mean. why anyone would resort to that is beyond me. but one question i've always wanted to ask coz am ingorant on this, where do they get this stuff, coz its in a large amount, right? or do they mix a portion up?

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Mcheku I didn't hear of any prosecution or anything like that. I think she walked away scott free. By the way she also spent some time in the hospital coz the acid splashed kidogo on her hands. But her wounds were not as bad as the jamaa's.

The guy left Mombasa for colder climates upcountry I think Nairobi. The heat here was just making the burns crop up again even after he left hospital. And he has to be wearing a hat all the time coz of the sun.

Neema there's acid in car batteries and one can buy in car repair shops. Even in shops that deal with chemicals for like making detergents and toilet cleaners you can buy.

Acolate Lol. You're saying sub locations? Try district. The world is now a global village.

Frankie said...

i'll never understand the pleasure people get from making another human being suffer, just because they couldn't stand being with you.... it makes people fear getting into r/ships... acid? that has to be torute, it is like being burned alive..i agree with you wanjiku, it is now a global village so be very aware of whom u get invloved with...