Taita Taveta residents affected by Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) are set to receive sh. 51.5 million from the National government as part of sh.958 million nationwide payments for HWC compensation.
Speaking during the nationwide launch of payment of HWC compensation held in Voi, Taita Taveta Governor Andrew Mwadime said the payment marked the end of a nine-year-long wait for the victims.
According to Governor Mwadime, the sh.908 million was allocated in the previous financial year 2022/2023 to clear compensation backlogs from 2014-2018.
“This clearly shows how determined we are as county leadership in solving this perennial problem that has been leading to the destruction of properties, injuries, and deaths,” said Gov. Mwadime.
The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage on Wednesday launched the payment of sh.908 million towards human-wildlife compensation countrywide.
During the launch, Wildlife, Tourism and Cultural Heritage Cabinet Secretary, Peninah Malonza, said the government was committed towards clearing outstanding claims owed to HWC victims.
“The last time victims of HWC received compensation was in 2013 and that is why we are committed to clear the outstanding claims worth sh.2.8 billion. After all pending claims are collected from counties; outstanding claims are projected to reach sh.5.1 Billion,” said CS Malonza.
“The government of Kenya is cognizant of HWC as a serious wildlife conservation challenge and has dedicated significant resources to developing programs, partnerships, and policies to effectively manage it,” added Malonza.
Meanwhile, Governor Mwadime has asked the national government to give special attention to Taita Taveta whose 62 percent of total land is occupied by Tsavo West & East National Parks making the county a hot spot for HWC as wildlife compete for scarce resources such as water & food with livestock & human beings.
“I appeal to the National Government to support our efforts to curb this by erecting electric fences in areas such as Kasigau, Miasenyi, Sagalla, Mwatate, among others,” said Mwadime.