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Human-wildlife conflict victims to be compensated in Laikipia

At least 130 human-wildlife conflict victims in Laikipia County are expected to be compensated after their claims were reviewed by Wildlife Management and Compensation Committee.

Laikipia County Commissioner, Joseph Kanyiri, said the cases scrutinized include eight death claims, several permanent injuries, crops damage and livestock killings, all occasioned by wildlife.

“It is important for members of the public to know that this Committee may recommend the compensation or not, while members of the public should understand the requirements in case of wildlife attack, which occasions death or permanent injuries,” said Kanyiri, adding that residents should report human-wildlife conflicts incidents as soon as they happen for processing.

The County Commissioner cited that in some of the cases submitted, there were inconsistencies, thus calling on residents to submit the correct information, which increases their chances of compensation if the cases are valid.

“We have seen some of the fabled-up stories and obviously such cases can’t be compensated,” Kanyiri reiterated.

The County Commissioner revealed that cases that have been reviewed occurred between 2016 to 2021 where Laikipia North Sub-County was the hardest hit, with numerous wildlife attacks against livestock.

“From the analysis, we saw many cases of killing of sheep and cows by either hyena or lions. We also had cases of elephants trampling on crops and damaging fences,” he revealed.

Kanyiri said death incidents caused by wildlife will be compensated at Sh5 million for each case, permanent injuries will be Sh3 million, other forms of injuries will range between zero to Sh2 million, while destruction of property will be compensated as per the market value.

He added all the claims must be supported by medical reports from government gazetted hospitals among other genuine documents, urging claimants to be honest, when applying for compensation claims.

The County Commissioner lamented that there is an increase of human-wildlife conflicts in the region, but was quick to point out that some herders are to blame for invading wildlife protected zones, such as ranches and conservancies.

“Some of those who have suffered permanent injuries are actually herders. There are people who use footpaths to traverse through the conservancies, which is a very dangerous venture,” he said.

Kanyiri urged farmers to fence their farms in order to deter wild animals from invasion.

He also called on athletes to avoid using routes that are normally frequented by wild animals when doing their routine exercises as a mitigating measure against human-wildlife conflicts.

By Muturi Mwangi

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