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State launches compensation scheme to tackle human-wildlife conflict

President William Ruto has launched a compensation scheme for damages arising from human-wildlife conflict. 

The President said in 2022, the compensation claims stood at Ksh 7 billion for the period 2014-2023. The government has since paid Ksh 4 billion.

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The compensation claims are for deaths, injuries, crop destruction, predation and damage of property caused by wild animals in six counties.

Speaking at Rumuruti Stadium in Laikipia County on Friday, President Ruto said the remaining Ksh 3 billion compensation claims will be paid in the next 60 days.

“The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife should speed up the verification exercise and work closely with MPs to ensure that the remaining 7,000 families are compensated in the next 60 days,” he said.

During the function, President Ruto presented a cheque of Sh 960 million for victims of human-wildlife conflict across the country.

He said the process of compensation will in future be made easier, saying unnecessary bureaucracy will be eliminated.

President Ruto pointed out that the partnership between the government, the private sector and communities is key in sustaining conservation efforts.

“We must involve the people in conservation because citizens being at the core of every plan ensures sustainability,” said President Ruto.

At the same time, the President announced that the government will erect electric fences 350km-long around national parks and game reserves in six counties.

He said Laikipia County will benefit from a 100km fence along Lariak Forest Wildlife Conservancy that he commissioned in an effort to reduce and eventually end human-wildlife conflict.

The President directed the ministry to map out all areas, which require fencing, including forests, to facilitate fencing in the next five years.

He said the government was implementing what it had promised the people of Laikipia during the election campaigns in 2022.

Meanwhile, President Ruto said the government will not relent in the fight against insecurity in the North Rift region.

He said police now have new modern equipment that will help fight and eliminate banditry and cattle rustling.

President Ruto was emphatic that the government will do all that it takes to pacify all areas currently witnessing cases of insecurity.

“It is the government’s commitment that it will ensure peace prevails in Laikipia, Samburu, West Pokot, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Turkana, Isiolo and Lamu, among other parts of the country,” he said. “What is going on in these areas are the last kicks of a dying horse.”

The President urged the public to cooperate with security agencies by exposing the few criminal elements among them.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua took issue with the Laikipia County security team for failing to contain illicit brews in Rumuruti.

“The Nation Administration officials and police here must eradicate illicit brews within the shortest time possible,” he said.

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wa said the government was implementing its agenda for the people of Laikipia by addressing human-wildlife conflict that has been a pain for long.

Governors Joshua Irungu (Laikipia) and Lati Lelelit (Samburu) said they will work closely with the National Government in the fight against insecurity in the region.

Cabinet Secretaries Alfred Mutua (Tourism and Wildlife), Rebecca Miano (Investment and Trade) and Soipan Tuya (Environment) and several MPs were also present.

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