Three families in Tana River County are set to receive a total of 15 million shillings as compensation for the deaths of their relatives from wildlife attacks.
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has approved a 5 million shillings compensation for each of the families, according to the Tana River County Senior Warden, Mr. Miraj Ruga.
“The KWS approved the recommendations of the County Compensation Committee to award the three grieving families sh5 million each in accordance with the KWS Act,” Mr. Ruga told journalists during an interview in his office.
He said the families, two from Tana Delta and one from Tana River Sub Counties, would get 30 percent of the money in the first phase and second phases and 40 percent in the last.
He said the cases that had been considered were those that happened between 2014 and 2016 that were forwarded to KWS by the county compensation committee.
“Not every case was approved as the government cannot compensate everybody since wildlife attacks are not limited to Tana River County. We have to consider many factors before deciding on who deserves the compensation,” he noted.
He said human-wildlife conflicts were rampant in the county especially during the dry seasons when humans and wild animals compete for water.
“Human-wildlife conflicts are rife during the drought as both humans and animals compete for the little water in the river and other watering points,” said Mr. Ruga, adding that most attacks were from snakes, crocodiles and buffalos.
The senior warden however lamented that some local residents were practicing poaching especially for small antelopes known as dikdik, and warned that those who would be caught perpetrating the vice would be severely punished.
“We have intensified patrols within the county’s forests to ensure that no poaching goes on, and a number of people have been arrested and charged,” he said.