The Laikipia North MP, Sarah Korere has called for the immediate and full implementation of the Wildlife Bill 2014 in order to hasten compensation of victims of human-wildlife conflicts.
Speaking on Wednesday in Nanyuki town after attending an emotional burial of Leshadu Kinyanyi, 16, who was trampled to death by an elephant at his Kuru Kuri village in Laikipia Sub County while on his way to school, Ms. Korere accused the Ministry of Tourism of failing to implement the bill that was accented into law by President Kenyatta five years ago.
The class seven teenager was in a group of about 10 colleagues on the third of this month who were heading to school when a rogue jumbo charged at them killing him on the spot while the others escaped with injuries.
“Let minister Balala tell Kenyans why it has taken so long to implement the law on compensation yet people continue to be killed, maimed and crops destroyed by wild animals and no compensation is forthcoming,” Ms. Korere said.
She added that 34 people had been killed by wildlife in her constituency since 2014 yet none of their kin had received compensation from Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) despite some losing sole breadwinners.
“The agency concerned is very insensitive to the plight of victims of human-wildlife conflicts. We cannot continue to suffer like this anymore, it’s not acceptable, “Ms. Korere said as she fought off tears.
She called for the translocation of elephants in Laikipia North to wildlife protected areas such as Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare forests saying it would go a long way in reducing similar incidences of residents getting killed by the Jumbos.
“This is the third school child we’re burying from my constituency killed by elephants this year yet we have KWS officers on the ground but their response to humans being attacked is so slow as opposed to when wild animals are attacked by humans. It is a high time KWS showed concern for our people,” she said.
The MP said that some children have opted to skip school when elephants invade villages while others go to learn as late as 10.00am when the Jumbos have gone back to forests as a way of avoiding attacks.
By Martin Munyi