British Army under siege as Laikipia residents head to court over fire incident

Huge fire in Lolldaiga Hills,

A Kenyan family that lost a relative in March when a fire broke out at the Lolldaiga Conservancy in Laikipia is demanding answers from the British Army Training Unit (Batuk) in Nanyuki.

Linus Murangiri met his death on the fateful day after being crushed by a vehicle as he rushed to help put out the fire allegedly started by some British soldiers at their training ground.

The fire quickly spread to the private wildlife conservancy.

His widow told BBC that she wants answers into how her husband died. She also said the cause of the fire should be made public to put the matter to rest for the neighboring communities who were affected.

The fire gutted down 12,000 acres of land, and there were reports that five elephants were burnt to ashes.

But the British government has denied the reports, and the Kenya Wildlife also maintains that the fire burned no animal.

The official cause of the fire has not been made public, but the incident is at the centre of an environmental lawsuit brought by a lobby group and almost 1,000 local residents.

Residents say chemicals used to put out the fire have adversely affected livelihoods in the area, with reports of dead livestock after grazing and drinking water from a nearby stream.

Some parts of the conservancy remain earth black after the fire, with no meaningful farming activities.

Some elderly people in the area are now complaining of a burning sensation in their eyes since the fire incident.

A spokesperson at the British High Commission, when reached for comments, said, “this is part of an ongoing court case, it would be inappropriate to comment any further”.