Human-wildlife conflicts pending bi*ls expected to hit Ksh5.7B

Friday, March 22nd, 2024 16:51 | By
Director General of the Kenya Wildlife Service Erustus Kanga
Director General of the Kenya Wildlife Service Erustus Kanga. PHOTO/@KWSKenya/X

The pending bills on human-wildlife conflicts are expected to hit a new high of Ksh5.7 billion from Ksh2.3 billion as of June 30, 2022.

This was revealed by the Public Accounts Committee which has called on for increased budgetary allocation to settle the bills.

The claims include losses caused by wildlife such as injuries, fatalities, and property damages.

According to the Auditor-General's report on the State Department for Wildlife for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2022, the huge pending bills have become an area of major concern for the department.

Speaking before the Public Accounts Committee, Principal Secretary of the State Department for Wildlife Silvia Museiya Kihoro said the government is planning to implement an insurance scheme to address the issue of unpaid victims of human-wildlife conflicts.

MPs on human-wildlife conflicts compensation

According to Bura MP Yakub Adow, the government should instead implement a multi-faceted approach that includes short-term relief measures with long-term sustainable solutions to address the issue.

“As a committee, we urge the government to take swift action to mitigate the suffering and financial strain experienced by those affected,” Adow said.

Mathioya MP Edwin Mugo, on his side, has recommended the immediate allocation of resources to expedite the verification and settlement of pending claims saying it provides much-needed relief to the affected individuals and communities.

Funyula MP Wilberforce Oundo says the department should focus on enhanced collaboration between the government, wildlife conservation organizations, and other stakeholders to develop sustainable strategies for mitigating human-wildlife conflicts.

"These strategies could include investing in wildlife corridors, implementing effective deterrent measures, and promoting community-based conservation initiatives," he said.

Butere MP Tindi Mwale, who is the vice chairperson of the committee urged the government to explore innovative funding mechanisms such as public-private partnerships and eco-tourism revenue sharing to support conservation efforts and alleviate the financial burden on affected communities.

The committee has also emphasized the importance of raising public awareness about the consequences of human-wildlife conflicts and the need for proactive conservation measures.

More on News