Human-wildlife conflict costs Kenyan government an arm and a leg with $120 million eaten up by compensation of victims

Hyenas are also being hunted down for their skins and body parts for use in traditional medicine.
  • Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) has forecasted the figures will double in the coming year with the number of victims killed or injured by the animals already on an upward trajectory.
  • Prof. Fred Segor, KWS Permanent Secretary noted that in the period under review, Sh569 million ($5.69 million) was used to pay off 163 families whose kin were killed by wildlife in various parts of the country.
  • Between 2014 and 2017, there were 13,125 compensation claims which had been presented to the ministry with 4,722 deferred due to lack of relevant documents.

Human-wildlife conflict has cost the Kenyan government Sh1.2 billion ($120 million) in the last five years alone and the figure is set to shoot upwards even further going forward.

The money went to compensating the victims of wildlife with the number of victims on the rise. Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) has forecasted the figures will double in the coming year with the number of victims killed or injured by the animals already on an upward trajectory.

In the period under review, Sh569 million ($5.69 million) was used to pay off 163 families whose kin were killed by wildlife in various parts of the country.

On Wednesday, while opening the induction of the KWS County wardens on Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) compensation claims processing in Naivasha, Prof. Fred Segor, KWS Permanent Secretary said the funds set for compensating victims of wildlife attacks had risen from Sh147 million (1.47 million) in 2014-15 to Sh 439 million ($4.39 million) in 2018-19 financial year.

“Since the community wildlife conservation committee came into force in January 2014, the government had released over Sh1.2B towards compensation,” he said.

The PS noted that between 2014 and 2017, there were 13,125 compensation claims which had been presented to the ministry with 4,722 deferred due to lack of relevant documents.

Between June 2017 and November 2019, there were an additional 8,478 claims which included 352 human deaths that had been presented to the State.

“Of this 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 noted.

The figures are expected to double in the coming year with figures from KWS indicating that the number of victims killed or injured by the animals was on an upward projection.

“We have seen the number of wildlife increase sharply in some areas and thus the need to control them before more lives are lost,” Segor said.

As climate change continues to unfold leading to scarce resources and pushing humans to national parks, human-wildlife conflicts are going to be the order of the day.

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