Tourism CS Balala Addresses Human-Wildlife Compensation Claims
Tourism CS Najib Balala, on Monday, confessed that snakebite cases had given him sleepless nights when it came to compensation claims involving wild animals.
Speaking at a consultative meeting hosted by the Senate’s Committee on Delegated Legislation in Mombasa, the CS noted that investigations were ongoing about claims made by victims of human-wildlife conflict.
Balala observed that snakebite cases had increased in semi-arid areas which comprised a majority of the claims made.
“There has been a lot of fraud, and we are going to investigate. Somebody dies in the village and his relative claim he has been bitten by a snake. The biggest headache has been snakebites. It is a major issue that we must address,” he told the legislators.
The Tourism CS explained that wildlife attacks on humans could be reduced by fencing national parks and game reserves.
"We need to manage our national parks and reserves. We need to invest in fencing so that we deter elephants from coming to the farms and disturbing farmers. We need to contain our wildlife,” he added.
On the point of settling pending claims, Balala stated that victims would soon be compensated after Ksh279 Million was released to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
"The budget that has been allocated to us is Ksh279 Million. Any time from now, we will release the money to KWS and do a priority list on the outstanding claims,” he stated against claims that stood at almost Ksh800 Million.
In 2013, the Wildlife Management and Conservation Act was adopted which established a compensation scheme to be utilised for financing compensation claims for human death, injury or crop and property damage caused by wildlife.
According to Section 25 of the Act, "Ksh5 Million is paid for human death caused by wild animals, Ksh3 million for injury with permanent disability and up to Ksh2 Million for other injuries depending on their extent.
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