Lamu, KENYA: Residents of Kiwayu Island in Lamu East want the government to compensate them for increased snake bite incidents in the area.
The lives of many locals on the island have taken a turn for the worst after they were left nursing painful scars inflicted by the growing number of poisonous snakes on the island.
Locals have also faulted the KWS for failing to act even after they were informed of the increased venomous reptiles that were increasingly roaming the area and inflicting unwarranted harm and pain.
Kiwayu village is located inside the Kiunga Marine national Reserve and has a population of over 2000 people.
Residents now want the government to compensate them for the snake bites and also have the KWS conduct searches and move the snakes to the confines of the reserve and away from residential places.
“We just want the government to pay us for the snake bites. Some people have been rendered completely lame or crippled from the bites as the snakes are all over. We have on many occasions raised the issue with the KWS but they haven’t even come down to assess our claims and in the meantime,the snake bites continue.these matter should be addressed seriously like it deserves,” said Mohamed Bakari.
Last month,the National Lands Commission-NLC chair Muhammad Swazuri revoked 42 titles belonging to individuals on Kiwayu island on grounds that the lands belonged to the KWS.
Swazuri however directed that the villagers be accorded special lease licenses to enable them stay on the lands without having any ownership claim.