County pushing for compensation of human-wildlife conflict victims
Taita Taveta County Government is planning to go to court to seek compensation from Tsavo National Park on behalf of its residents.
Speaking in Mwatate during this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations, Governor John Mtuta Mruttu called on the Members of Parliament from Mwatate, Taveta, Voi and Wundanyi to seek appointment with the minister in charge to discuss matters of compensation and support it fully.
Mruttu said, the county’s lawyers have been instructed to interpret the law and visit the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) office to collect data on the number of people killed or injured by wildlife.
Reports indicate that residents have been killed, injured and their crops destroyed by wild animals from Tsavo East National Park which is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya.
“The process to compensate the victims has been very slow and no one seems to mind the welfare of the affected people,” the Governor added.
Speaking at the same function, assistant Director Tsavo Conservation Area Captain Robert O’Brien called on the residents to be patient as plans to start the compensation process were underway.
O’Brien said that plans are underway to form a team which would deal with the matters of compensations.
Taita Taveta Member of the County Assembly Flumence Mshilla who is in charge of land settlements and wildlife blamed members of parliament for not pushing for the interests of the local residents.
Mshilla also cautioned the MPs that they will become irrelevant to the residents if they fail to push for amendments in the Land Bill.
In February residents of Kamtonga area in Mwatate Constituency held demonstrations over mistreatment by Kenya wildlife Service (KWS) officials terming the experience as torturous.
According to the residents, miners and charcoal burners are the main victims, sometimes resulting in death while others are shot for allegedly being illegal hunters.
By Joel Mburia / Written By Jemimah Gathoni
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