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Human-wildlife conflicts on the rise

Cases of human-wildlife conflicts are on the rise across the country making compensation costs by government to skyrocket by day.
The latest data from KWS revealed that compensation demands had risen from Sh147 million in 2014/2015 financial year to Sh569 million in the 2019/2020 financial year.
Wildlife PS Professor Fred Segor said that the government has spent Sh1.77 billion to date to compensate wildlife attack victims with death cases taking the lion’s share of the budget.
Segor said that between 2017-2020, a total of 388 Kenyans died after being attacked by wild animals, while 2,080 were left nursing various injuries.
He added that the department has so far compensated victims up to the year 2017 with the government allocating a further Sh524 million in this financial year to clear the arrears.
The PS explained that between 2013 and 2017, a total 13,125 compensation claims had been presented to the Ministerial Wildlife Conservation and Compensation Committee (MWCCC), with 299 of the cases being human death claims where the affected families were paid a total of Sh1.48 billion for the loss of their kin.
He however said an additional 129 death claims worth of Sh571 million were deferred due to lack of relevant documentations and clarifications of incidence narratives.
The PS was speaking at KWS Training College in Naivasha over the weekend after meeting members of the compensation committee working on the current claims.
Segor decried the rising cases of human/wildlife conflicts noting that there was an urgent need to address this and save the government the huge costs of compensation.
On hippo attacks, he admitted that the cases were on the rise mainly around water bodies that had flooded in Rift Valley in the last couple of months.
“In the last couple of months, we have seen an increase in cases of hippo attacks mainly around Lake Naivasha and in the process several people have lost their lives,” he said.
He said the attacks mostly occur in the evenings when the animals emerge to forage for pastures from the shrinking land forcing them to stray into neighboring estates and called on those living around the water bodies to take precautionary measures to reduce the attacks and avert more deaths.
By Esther Mwangi

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