The Kenyan government on Wednesday admitted it cannot single-handedly handle the huge number of compensation claims arising from human-wildlife conflict in the country.Speaking in Nairobi, tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala disclosed that from 2013 to 2017, there were over 14,000 claims, thereby stretching human-wildlife conflict compensation to 10billion shillings($98million).
Currently, the government pays 5million shillings ($50,000) for a single human death occasioned by wildlife, 3million shillings ($30,000) for permanent injury that causes disability for life and a maximum of 2million shillings ($20,000) for any other compensation.
While addressing a forum in Nairobi, aiming to look into ways on how the government and the private sector can collaborate in mitigating human-wildlife conflict through insurance, he said that there is need to urgently create a Consolation Fund in order to mitigate human-wildlife conflict compensation.
The Cabinet Secretary said the government system was totally overwhelmed by the sheer number of claims, because some people took advantage of the system to make fraudulent claims at the expense of genuine cases, thereby, making it unmanageable and unsustainable.
“This causes delays in compensation payments because of the time required to sift through them to identify the genuine and deserving cases,” he said.
Balala called on all stakeholders in the sector to think on how to turn the human-wildlife conflict to human-wildlife co-existence, so that there are benefits to everyone and explore compensation through insurance.