Human-wildlife conflict victims demand Sh15b

Paul Ndung’u @PeopleDailyKe

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) owes victims of human-wildlife conflict Sh15 billion since 2016. Acting director general Julius Kimani said raising the funds has been a tall order for the State agency more so after the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013 was enacted.

“We are making plans to compensate victims but it is a very expensive adventure because the government is not able to compensate crops but we are going to pay for loss of life and injuries,” he said.

Speaking in Laikipia, Kimani said there is need to look for other ways of dealing with the matter before it escalates further adding that they have put in place measures to reduce human-wildlife conflicts including land use review in areas of Laikipia and erecting an electric fence.

This came even as Laikipia Women’s Rep Catherine Waruguru urged the government to speed up the compensation process in the county. She said there are more than 1,200 cases of wildlife conflicts in the county and none has been compensated.

Waruguru noted that the compensation if dispensed will enhance co-existence between the people and the animals and act as goodwill towards protecting them especially elephants from poachers through community initiatives.

Speaking at Ol Pejeta Conservancy during a memorial service of Sudan, the last male northern white hino, Waruguru said Laikipia boasts some of the best wildlife conservation strategies among residents and ranchers, but this has not gone well with the residents, who are left suffering following wildlife-related conflicts.

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