The national government in conjunction with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has set aside three billion shillings to compensate 10,000 casualties of wildlife attacks in the country.
Speaking during the annual meeting of the community wildlife conservation committee held at Homa bay county commissioner’s compound, the senior assistant director for the Western conservation area Catherine Ombayi, said that the compensation is for personal injuries, deaths, damage to property and crops and livestock predation.
Ombayi disclosed that Homa Bay County had registered 49 cases of victims that merited compensation.
“Out of the 49 cases we had registered, there were 5 cases of human deaths, 5 cases of injuries, 9 of crop destruction as well as 30 cases of predation on domestic animals,” she said.
She however, reiterated that those were not the only cases reported, adding that the relationship between wildlife and human beings has not been smooth.
“The committee aims at finding the appropriate means and solutions to mitigate suffering imposed on wildlife by human beings as well as casualties caused by the wildlife,” said Ombanyi.
She further noted that there have been delays in terms of releasing the compensation money by the government which she attributed it to covid-19 pandemic which had hit the country’s economy.
On his part, Homa Bay County Commissioner Moses Lilan implored the residents to be cautious when operating in areas surrounding those set aside for inhabitation by wildlife.
He stated that it is the responsibility of the residents to ensure they stay weary of the existence of the wildlife as the animals can not differentiate between what is right and wrong.
The meeting brought together officials from the wildlife sector, county security officials as well as representatives from the community.
By Omar Zabbibah and Sitna Omar