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SH1.5BN PAID IN THREE YEARS

KWS owes Sh5bn to human-wildlife conflict victims

CS Balala says they are working with the Treasury to have the compensation cleared.

In Summary

• In Meru, they have already paid Sh65 million and will give another Sh320 million, which is the last payment for this financial year.

• He said human-wildlife conflict is a major challenge in the tourism sector and that informed his decision to form a task force to look into the problem. 

Tourism CS Najib Balala and Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi at a press briefing in Meru.
Tourism CS Najib Balala and Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi at a press briefing in Meru.
Image: Dennis Dibondo
Meru county commissioner Allan Machari, Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki, former IG Joseph Boinnet, Tourism CS Najib Balala and Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi during a press briefing in Meru.
Meru county commissioner Allan Machari, Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki, former IG Joseph Boinnet, Tourism CS Najib Balala and Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi during a press briefing in Meru.
Image: DENNIS DIBONDO

Victims of human-wildlife conflict have been paid Sh1.5 billion in the past three years, Tourism CS Najib Balala says. 

He said they still have a backlog of cases and have yet to pay Sh5 billion. Balala spoke at the launch of a 53-kilometre electric fence around a conservation area in Tharaka Nithi that will cost Sh96 million.

“There is the finalisation of a batch of Sh230 million to be given out later,” he said.

 

In Meru, they have already paid Sh65 million and will give another Sh320 million, which is the last payment for this financial year.

“We are working with the National Treasury to have the backlog funded. In the new financial year, we have been allocated about Sh549 million and disbursement will be given out immediately as the verification has already been done,” Balala said.

He said human-wildlife conflict is a major challenge in the tourism sector and that informed his decision to form a task force, led by former IG of Police Joseph Boinnet, to look into the problem. 

“That task force is looking into insurance, special fund, fences, civic education and the report is going to be ready by the end of July,” he said.

He said the eastern conservation area from Kora, Mwingi, Meru and Isiolo is huge and twice as big as Masai Mara, hence has a huge potential. It, however, lacks good accommodation facilities and good infrastructure.

Balala said the road to the Meru National Park will be allocated Sh95 million so it can be upgraded. He said Ura gate that is 16km will be graded by KWS bulldozers.

Balala said the land, which is 3,000 to 4,000 square kilometres of a conservation area can benefit Isiolo, Meru, Tharaka Nithi and Kitui counties.

 

He was accompanied by Boinnet, Wildlife PS Fred Segor, KWS director general John Waweru and National Assembly Environmental committee chairman Kareke Mbiuki.