- Governor Andrew Mwadime said county leaders are pushing for more lasting solutions to curb losses occasioned by wildlife attacks.
- The human-wildlife conflict cases are rampant because of the Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks.
Victims of human-wildlife conflict in Taita Taveta will benefit from Sh206 million released by the national government as compensation.
The compensation will cover deaths and destruction of property cases reported between 2014 and 2021.
Governor Andrew Mwadime said county leaders are pushing for more lasting solutions to curb losses occasioned by wildlife attacks. The human-wildlife conflict cases in Taita Taveta are rampant because of the two Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks.
"This is a good happening and we are calling for an acceleration of pending claims to ensure that all victims are compesatated," Mwadime said in an interview on Thursday.
Human-wildlife conflict has been rampant in Taita Taveta, recording close to 10,000 cases of conflict over the years.
The most affected areas include Mbololo, Ndii, Ngolia, Sagalla and Kasigau in Voi constituency. Others are Maktau, Bura, Chawia, Mkuki among other areas in Mwatate constituency while Kishushe, Paranga and Mlilo are the most affected areas in Wundanyi.
Wumingu/Kishushe MCA Newton Kifuso said the perennial conflict, if not controlled, would negatively affect the performance of learners waiting for national examinations.
The Wildlife Conservation and Management Act provides for Sh5 million compensation for a person killed by a wild animal. It also provides for compensation for people injured, crops destroyed and livestock killed by wild animals.
Compensation for an injured person depends on a doctor's recommendation, while compensation for crops destruction follows an agricultural officer's evaluation.
The county boss said people bordering the expansive national park are also suffering from harassment by KWS rangers.
"Many residents have been manhandled by KWS officers, particularly those bordering the park. The officers need to create a rapport with the people since they have a great role to play in conservation,” he added.
County commissioner Layford Kibaara, who is the county wildlife conservation and compensation committee chairman, said the government is committed to settling all compensation claims in the region.
He said they will work on all concerns raised and amicably solve the issue of ties with the residents.
Kibaara noted that the compensation process had been halted for lack of funds to compensate all evaluated cases.
The compensation comes days after Members of the County Assembly protested against increasing human-wildlife conflict in the area.
The 32 ward reps barricaded the gate leading to the KWS Tsavo conservation area headquarters at Sophia estate, forcing police to lob teargas canisters.
They accused KWS of laxity and failure to tame the perennial conflict that has caused losses to farmers.
They demanded the KWS senior assistant director in charge of the Tsavo conservation area swiftly lead the agency in driving back to the park tens of elephants causing havoc in the area.