James Alkerech was a herder who spent most of his time taking care of his father’s livestock. Life in Fora, located in the remote area of Ileret Ward, has livestock keeping as the primary economic activity. This area is also characterized by frequent conflict over grazing land.
In 2018, after a particularly fierce exchange, Alkerech was hit by a bullet on his left leg and was badly wounded. The unfortunate injury led to amputation of his leg, just below the knee.
James Alkerech at the village in Ileret after his injury and amputation
Alkerech lost his livelihood and the lifestyle he was accustomed to. Being unable to walk led to psychological challenges. He slid into depression and at some point, attempted suicide.
In July 2021, Dr. Richard Leakey, who had heard his story, helped Alkerech realise his passionate dream of walking on two limbs once again. Dr. Leakey provided Alkerech with support to get a prosthetic leg together with a week’s training on how to walk with it. The physiotherapy was done at Alfa CBO in Nairobi.
James Alkerech on receiving his prosthetic leg, ready for training on how to use it.
Thereafter, Alkerech returned to school and he had a new lease of life. He is now a confident young man currently enrolled as a pupil at Marsabit primary school. He dreams of becoming a doctor someday. Presently, he is able to walk without support and he can engage with his schoolmates comfortably. His self-esteem is restored and he operates joyfully.
He recently visited Nairobi for review in December 2021 and his Swahili is fluent. No need for a translator as had been the case months ago when he first came for the prosthetic’s fitting. It was wonderful having him in the city and we wish him all the very best for the future!
Photo collage of James Alkerech all smiles as he visited Nairobi for review in December 2021