An 11-year-old herdsboy could lose both hands after he was scalded with boiling water for stealing maize flour at Kargi in Marsabit County.

The boy’s hands were tied with a rope then immersed in a sufuria full of boiling water.

He was then left unattended for two days outside a manyatta in the scorching sun.

The hungry boy was grazing the family’s sheep and goats when he wandered into a makeshift homestead where herders keep their food and water.

He found some maize flour and prepared a meal of ugali, but as he set out to eat, the owner arrived and confronted him.

The man took a rope and tied the boy’s hands and neck, then hanged him on a tree. He then boiled some water in a sufuria and dipped the boy’s hands in it.

The man, 40, then used a hot metal rod to burn the boy on various parts of his body. He suffered severe burns in the hands, legs and back.

The boy’s friends informed his family of his disappearance and a search was mounted. They found the hungry and weary boy lying unconscious under a shrub.

He was rushed to a nearby dispensary before being referred to Marsabit Level Four hospital.

On Thursday, medics at Consolata Mission hospital, Nkubu, in Meru county, said the boy would have both hands amputated as they cannot heal.

Head of nursing, Ms Julia Muthomi, said the boy had made remarkable progress, adding that they were dressing the burns and administering pain-killers.

“Currently, the burns are not improving. There is a plan to amputate the right hand from above the elbow and the left hand along the fingers,” she said.

A relative, Mr Peter Lepati, said the incident was reported at Kargi Police post.

The man was later arrested by homeguards and taken to the police but his friends attacked the post and rescued him.