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We are tired of the wildlife, says Taita Taveta residents

UREPORT
By Mwambela Wakio | January 8th 2017
 Residents of Taita Taveta County have petitioned Governor John Mruttu to take Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to court over rampant cases of human-wildlife conflict cases in the County.

The residents blamed KWS for failing to contain the wildlife in the expansive Tsavo National saying animals have been raiding homesteads causing havoc to the community.

Speaking during a burial service of one of the human-wildlife conflict victim Mrs. Florence Wangai Mwasi in Manage, Sagalla Ward, the Governor said his government will ensure the petition is taken to court so that KWS can be compelled to compensate lives and property lost caused by the invasion of wildlife into private land.

He also decried the lack of commitment by the national government and KWS in compensating the victims saying they are insensitive to the plight of County residents.

"Since 2011 no compensation has been made to the victims despite filing reports of several human-wildlife conflict occurrences. We have given 62% of the land to the expansive Tsavo National Park but we don't benefit from it," he said.

Governor Mruttu also said he has instructed the County Department of Agriculture and Livestock to carry out assessment exercise of the damage caused by the marauding wildlife and compile a report that will help determine the amount to be paid by KWS as compensation.

He at the same time blamed the national government for failing to conduct an environmental assessment impact in the park during the construction of the standard railway gauge line saying it has interfered with the migration route of the wildlife attributing it to the main cause of increased human-wildlife conflict cases in the County.

Last year January county leaders including Governor Mruttu matched to KWS officers in Voi forcing a closure of the officers over increased cases of human-wildlife conflict.
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