• The government is now seeking to use insurance to pay the victims.
• Changes in land use, climate change and closure of wildlife corridors have been highlighted as some of the factors that have led to the rise in human-wildlife conflict cases.
The government has spent more than Sh1.2 billion in four years to compensate human-wildlife conflict victims.
The government is now seeking to use insurance to pay the victims.
Wildlife PS Fred Segor said on Wednesday plans were underway to use insurance to compensate victims, though the department is committed to clear the current backlog before the end of the year.
Records indicate that 163 families have been compensated after their relatives were killed by wild animals.
The PS said funds set aside to compensate wildlife attacks victims rose from Sh147 million in 2014-15 to Sh439 million in 2018-19.
“Since the community wildlife conservation committee came into force in January 2014, the government has released over Sh1.2 billion towards compensation,” he said.
Segor said between 2014 and 2017, 13,125 compensation claims were presented to the ministry, with 4,722 deferred because of lack of relevant documents.
He said an addition 8,478 claims, which included 352 human deaths, had been presented to the state between June 2017 and November 2019.
“Of the claims, 352 are human deaths, 2,180 are human injuries, 2,632 are livestock predation, 3,152 crop damages and 162 are property destruction,” he said.
The PS spoke when he opened a conflict compensation claims processing workshop at KWS Training Institute in Naivasha.
Segor said there is need to address the rising cases of human-wildlife conflict to save the government the major losses it was incurring.
“We have seen the number of wildlife increase sharply in some areas and thus the need to control them before more lives are lost,” he said.
“Human-wildlife conflict is the biggest threat to conservation in the country today as a significant population of wildlife thrive outside protected areas.”
KWS Director-General Brigadier Rtd John Waweru said the current conflict cases were fuelled by declining space for wildlife.
He said changes in land use, declining resources, climate change and closure of wildlife corridors during development had also seen the number of cases increase.
“Under this induction workshop, we want to ease the process of addressing the issue of compensation for families which in the past has taken years to be completed,” he said.