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State to pay Isiolo wildlife attack victims Sh6.7 million

Saturday June 27 2020
balala

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki (right) during launch of Sh96 million 53-kilometer Meru National Park electric fence on June 25, 2020. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By WAWERU WAIRIMU

The government has set aside Sh6.7 million to compensate 12 Isiolo residents who were injured by wild animals between 2014 and 2017.

Nine of the residents were bitten by snakes, two attacked by crocodiles while one was injured by a buffalo and will on average get Sh600, 000.

The money is part of the Sh142 million that the government has allocated for compensation of 25 percent of the approved injuries claims countrywide.

SH45 MILLION

Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala on Thursday announced that the government had already paid Sh45 million to nine Isiolo families who lost their loved ones from due to human-wildlife conflicts.

The CS, who was accompanied by Chief Administrative Secretary Joseph Boinett and Principal Secretary Fred Segor, said the government had a backlog of Sh6 billion in unpaid claims.

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Speaking at Kenya Wildlife Service Rapid Response Unit at Game area in Burat Ward, Isiolo where he opened a Sh3 million social hall built by the Northern Rangelands Trust, Mr Balala warned of stricter legal measures against poachers.

He said a team from Kenya Wildlife Service had been deployed to help in re-building strained relationship between county residents and the agency. 

The CS gave out Sh20 million for construction of Serena-Loruko Bridge that connects Buffalo Springs and Samburu Game reserves which was washed away by floods. The money will also be used to improve roads leading to the parks.

Governor Kuti said the money will go long way in reviving the sector that contributes to about 70 percent of the county’s revenue.

To cushion the conservancies from the effects of the virus, the government has set aside Sh1 billion for sustainable management of natural resources in 160 community conservancies countrywide.

PAY RANGERS

The funds, according to Mr Balala, will be used to pay conservancy rangers (80 percent) while Sh200 million will be put in conservancies’ revolving fund.

“Each conservancy will get Sh5 million for salaries while Sh200 million goes to endowment fund. The conservancies must seek fund raising strategies for sustenance,” he said.

Northern Rangelands Trust CEO Tom Lalampaa complained that NGO’s operations had been hurt after a number of donors withdrew their support following the outbreak of coronavirus.

“All our staff including over 1,400 at the conservancies have been forced to take paycuts due to the pandemic but we are committed to continued empowerment of communities. The grant will be a major boost to our conservancies spread across 10 counties,” said Mr Lalampaa.

Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki, who chairs the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources lauded the government’s move to support conservancies.

Isiolo North MP Hassan Odha appealed to the county government to formulate a legislation to guide conservancies on how to utilise donor funds.

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