5 December 2012

Kenya: KWS Sets Aside Sh1.9 Million for Kerio Wildlife Attack Victims

The Kenya Wildlife Service has agreed to compensate families of victims attacked by wild animals in Kerio Valley.

KWS will spend Sh1.9 million to compensae 17 people in Elgeyo-Marakwet, including four minors who died after they were attacked by wild animals from the Rimoi Game Reserve.

The Keiyo North District Wildlife compensation committee met at the Iten DC office on Monday to discuss the compensation.

According to the committee chair, area DC Gladys Kipyap, the families of the four minors who died will receive Sh200,000 each.

Ten other people will receive Sh50,000 each as compensation for their injuries.

The KWS warden in charge of the area, Dominic Kilonzo, said attacks by wild animals have been on the rise in the region.

Kilonzo said 70 per cent of the attacks reported, especially in the Kerio Valley, are from snake bites.

"We are sensitising people who live in areas near the game reserves on how to avoid the attacks. Snakes can be kept away by clearing bushes near homesteads," he said.

Kilonzo asked local communities to report attacks by wild animals to his office, police stations or chiefs offices to enhance record keeping for compensation.

He said the compensation programme has been streamlined so that only people who genuinely deserve it benefit from the payouts.

The warden said the compensation process was in the past abused through payments to people who did not deserve.

Peter Kiptoo, a clinical officer at the Iten District Hospital, said the supply of anti venom drugs is low in most hospitals.

Kiptoo said hospitals in the area lack adequate staff and refrigeration facilities to store drugs used to treat bites from poisonous snakes and animal attacks.

"A patient on anti-venom treatment is supposed to be under close observation for four to six hours," he said.

Kiptoo said the hospital will partner with KWS to educate communities on how to administer first aid to victims of wild animals attacks.

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