The Kenya Wildlife
Service (KWS) has disbursed Sh.95.6 million as compensation to victims of human-wildlife conflicts in Makueni.
The Makueni County Commissioner (CC), Maalim Mohammed said the compensation was paid out to 45 families for wildlife attacks reported between 2014 and 2016.
Maalim said of the total cases, 18 were deaths while 27 were injuries. “Each family that lost a member received Sh.5million totaling to Sh.90 million while the rest were paid Sh.5.6 million for injuries inflicted by wildlife,’’ he said.
The county commissioner noted that the attacks mostly rose from crocodiles, elephants and hippos.
‘‘Makueni is a hot spot of wildlife attacks now that it borders Chyulu ,Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks,’’ he said, adding that the worst hits parts, include Makindu, Nguumo, Masongaleni, Kikumbulyu, Ndalani, Ngwata, Mbuvo and Mtito Andei. Others are Nguu, Nzambani, Kako and Utithi areas that border the national parks.
The administrator also disclosed that 1,058 pending cases of wildlife attacks reported from 2017 up-to-date are waiting review by the County Community Wildlife Conservation Committee.
He added that deaths were 5, injuries (76), livestock attacks (73), property destruction (6) and crops destruction (898).
Maalim, speaking on Monday when he Chaired the committee outside his office in Wote warned residents against colluding with government officials to file false reports.
‘‘We have noted with concern that some residents scheme with doctors and extension officers to file false claims, reports without relevant documents will be rejected. Cases should also be reported within 24 hours,” said the county commissioner.
The CC also urged residents to be wary of snake bites now that the KWS has withdrawn compensation from such attacks.
He asked residents to designate areas in the homes as water points for the snakes which are prevalent in Makueni due to the hot weather.
‘‘It is unfortunate that snake bites which cause quite a number of deaths are no longer in the compensation list and we urge residents to come up with measure to co-exist and curb the attacks,” noted the CC.
He also added that KWS in conjunction with donors had erected a 60 kilometre electric fence along the Chyulu National Park as a way of curbing human wildlife- conflict.
‘‘The electric fence that runs along Yikiamba,Kiboko and Kerinyet has helped curb the attacks leading to increased food security and we appreciate the gesture by the donors”, said Maalim.
By Roselyne Kavoo