A 36-year-old man in Matobo village within Kericho town is currently living in his parents’ house following repeated attacks by jiggers that forced him to flee his house.

His father Mzee Joel arap Leting said that his son Gilbert arap Buiwa has been living with the family for the last three weeks for fear of further attacks by the parasitic bugs that have continually attacked him for the last three years.

Man flees home due to jigger attack

Gilbert Arap Buiwa (left) standing outsie his one bedroomed house with a volunteer. Photo by Sarah Njagi

“Buiwa is my fourth child among my five others. He lives 100 metres away from my home and he gets all his meals from here. He dropped out of school in class two on his own volition. My wife and I decided that we accommodate him in our home after jiggers attacked him over and over again and we pray that this be the end of his tribulations. Jiggers first attacked him in 2014 and they seem not to disappear despite all measures we undertake to free him from his anguish,” added Leting.

Arap Buiwa lives in a filthy house. His one roomed mabati house is dirty and is home to blood sucking bedbugs. His jigger infested fingers and toes have made him live in embarrassment.

Man flees home due to jigger attack

Gilbert’s jigger infested foot

His uncle, Joshua Langat reveals that efforts to rid his nephew of the parasites have proven futile despite being hospitalized for six weeks at Kericho county hospital after the jiggers attacked his toes, fingers, elbows and private parts.

“Arap Buiwa was hospitalized for six weeks in 2015 around the month of October and the medical bill came to a whooping Sh18, 000. We thought this will end his problems but to our amazement the jiggers are back again,” said Langat.

He adds that Buiwa does casual work for his neighbors mainly fetching water or grazing their livestock.

Man flees home due to jigger attack

Gilbert seated and reveals his jigger infested hands and feet


A volunteer worker at Living with hope center James Bore who has offered treatment to Buiwa in the last three years and twice this year added that hygiene was a priority to maintain a jigger free environment.

Acting assistant chief Walter Cheruiyot called on public health department to help stamp out the jigger menace while adding that households living in extreme poverty and unsanitary conditions were prone to jigger infestation.