State Department of Wildlife has used over Sh 120 million to compensate victims of human-wildlife conflict in Makueni County.
Speaking to the media after chairing the Community Wildlife Committee, the Makueni County Commissioner (CC), Maalim Mohammed, said the monies were paid to 1,058 cases of wildlife attacks that occurred between 2016 and 2020 August.
Mohammed revealed that there were 16 deaths, over 100 injuries, Six (6) cows killed besides destruction of crops and damages to water pipes and tanks in the areas prone to human-wildlife conflict in the area.
“The Kenya Wildlife has released Sh 5 million to each family that has lost a member totaling to Sh 90 million besides paying 30,222,427 million for injuries, destruction of pipes, crops and tanks and 6 cows killed by wild animals,” said Mohammed while briefing the media in his Wote office.
However, the County Commissioner reminded wananchi that they have to make claims within 24 hours after the incident has happened in order for them to receive compensation from the government.
Further Mohammed warned government officials and wananchi against presenting false claims, saying they risked prosecution if found culpable.
“We have seen people come to claim compensation from the government for incidents that occurred in 2008. This is unacceptable, you need to report the wildlife attacks within 24 hours for you to receive any compensation,” he said.
In another development, the administrator said that there have been 827 wildlife attacks reported between August 2020 and December 2021 saying there are 6 deaths, 47 injuries besides 671 cases of destruction of crops and property in the county.
He observed that the Committee members were now deliberating on each case for the next one week before they are sent to the State Department of Wildlife to compensate the individuals who have made claims.
“Today we are interrogating each case and we hope to complete the process by Saturday when the genuine attacks of wildlife will be submitted to the State Department of Wildlife to compensate the victims,” he said.
The areas prone to wildlife attacks are in Kathozweni, Makindu and Kibwezi Sub counties besides attacks in Athi River when people go to fetch water for their animals and domestic use.
On fencing, Mohammed thanked the Tsavo Trust and Davis Shirtliff for constructing a 33 kilometre electric fence that has prevented wildlife from straying away from the Tsavo National Park and Chyulu Park.
However, he asked the County Government to fence a section they had said in order to curb the human-wildlife conflict in the area.
The Davis and Shirtliff have also erected an electric fence in the Chyulu National Park in the area.
“I thank the Tsavo Trust and Shirtliff for electing an electric fence that has prevented wild animals from straying from the parks. The county government should honour their pledge of fencing 65 kilometres,” said the administrator.
By Patrick Nyakundi