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Govt yet to pay over Sh2.5bn it owes human-wildlife conflict victims-Balala

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 8-The government is yet to pay more than Sh2.5 billion it owes to persons injured or the next of kin of those killed by wild animals.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala who was responding to queries raised by the National Assembly Tourism Committee claimed the delayed compensation remittances was due to the inadequate financial allocation by the National Treasury.

“This has been challenging and we have forwarded to the national treasury the balance of 2014 to 2017 in terms of pending bills which is over Sh2.5 billion,” said Balala.

He also pleaded with the Committee to push for more funds for human-wildlife conflict saying monies allocated for 2020/2021 financial year will not meet backlog of cases.

“We will appreciate your intervention since in this financial year the national treasury has allocated Sh560 million but in comparison to what is outstanding this is a small amount,” he added.

According to Balala, compensation for human death, injury or damage to property has increased under the new law that came into force on January 2014.

The law requires Sh5 million be paid for human death, Sh3 million for injury with permanent disability and up to Sh2 million for other injuries depending on their extent.

Statistics provided by Kenya Wildlife Service as at 2019 show that 452 human death claims were lodged between 2014 and 2017 where, 163 were approved and the families are to be compensated Sh800 million.

119 cases summing up to Sh595 million were deferred, while 170 claims amounting to Sh850 million were rejected.

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A total of 4,555 cases of human injury claims were lodged where only 1,711 were approved to be paid Sh549 million in total.

Another 1,966 cases claiming Sh948 million were deferred and 878 cases worth Sh434 million were rejected.

Other claims were on crop damage (5,073 cases), livestock predation (3,012 cases) and property destruction (33 cases).

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