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Sh100 million for victims of Human-Wildlife conflicts

BUSINESS
By Mactilda Mbenywe | August 20th 2020

An estimated 100 victims of wildlife attacks in Kisumu and Siaya counties will receive Sh100 million as compensation.

All the cases for compensation outlined have been deliberated by the community wildlife conservation committees in the two counties.

KWS Deputy Warden for Kisumu County, Joseph Nyongesa, said as soon as the funds are released from Treasury, the victims will be compensated.

He explained that the investigations for compensation have been done, involving the area chiefs, to ensure that the claims are true and valid.

“We are working round the clock to ensure that all affected victims are compensated,” noted Nyongesa, even as he warned residents to keep off wildlife territories.

The rising waters of Lake Victoria in the recent past have escalated human-wildlife conflict, leaving behind a trail of death and destruction.

Reports seen by The Standard indicate about 54 families in Kisumu and another 46 in Siaya are set to be compensated for bearing the brunt of the conflicts.

Nyongesa cited Kisumu as the most affected area since residents border the lake, with the worst-hit areas being Seme, Nyakach, Nyando and the outskirts of Kisumu town.

The conflicts have over time become a norm, with the helpless villagers getting no compensation.

Samson Onyango, a resident of Kapuothe area, says he has lost 10 acres of maize crop to hippos.

Onyango, who made the report three months ago to KWS, says he had lost hope that he would ever be compensated. “There is hope now and I'm waiting anxiously,” Onyango said.

Another victim at Usoma area, Ali Juma, said for a long time villagers had protested the slow-paced compensation from KWS.

Juma says even after reporting several invasions on his family land by wild animals, no action had been taken.

"Hippos destroyed 20 acres of my rice fields and a baboon attacked and injured me, but I have never been compensated," he complained.

Officials at KWS yesterday observed that they are dealing with an increased number for compensation occasioned by the rising level of Lake Victoria, which destroyed habitat for the wild animals.

However, they observed that for the last one month the lake waters have been ceding and the cases have declined from 100 to 20 per month.

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