Lamu wildlife compensation committee facing financial crisis

Residents of Imenti in Meru county push an elephant that had been trampling on farm crops towards a river .Human wildlife conflict in Kwale has goven rise to an illegal bushmeat market in Kwale county PHOTO COURTESY

Lamu, KENYA: The committee mandated with compensating victims attacked by wildlife has acknowledged facing serious financial constraints that hinder their effectiveness.

Over 200 deaths and injuries caused by wildlife reported across Lamu are yet to be compensated for, despite having been approved for the same and their names forwarded to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

Speaking in Lamu on Thursday, the committee chairperson Ali Shebwana said there was a huge back log of such cases,over 200,running from between the years 2014 to 2017 that haven’t been compensated.

Shebwana said the committee is unable to compensate the persons since they are cash strapped having not received enough funding for the same.

He said only Sh.10.6 million has been released by the government contrary to the Sh.100 Million that the committee had proposed earlier for the same purpose.

“We have so far spent Sh.10 Million to compensate families of two individuals who were killed by wildlife where each was accorded Sh.5Million under the new law.The remaining Sh.600,000 was used to compensate for the deaths of three people who were killed years back under the old law where each family got Sh.200,000.We need more money for this since there are so many people that still need to be compensated,” said Shebwana.

He said the current drought situation was precipitating more human/wildlife conflicts and that there was need for them to be adequately prepared.