25 April 2012

Kenya: Sh2.65m for Human-Wildlife Conflict Victims in Tsavo

The Kenya Wildlife Service has paid out Sh2.65 million in compensation to victims of the human-wildlife conflict in the Great Tsavo between December 2010 and January 2012.

KWS senior warden Samuel Rukaria said Taita Ranch has the highest cases of the conflict, a fact he attributed to the ever growing human population in the area. "The growing human population means there is an encroachment into the animal corridor, which brings about the conflict," said Rukaria during a press briefing at Taita Lodge.

Esther Njeri, a community worker with KWS, said the main concern is to protect property and life. The Greater Tsavo includes both the Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks. The compensation is handled by the District Compensation Committee with the claims being paid out about three months from the date it is made. KWS pays Sh50,000 for injuries and Sh250,000 for deaths. Loss or destruction of property is not compensated.

Rukaria asked MPs to push for the passing of a bill which pushes for better terms in compensation. The KWS is currently erecting a 70km electric fence from Mwakitau to Mwatate at a cost of about Sh80 million to reduce the human-wildlife conflict.

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