Kenya sets up fund to compensate human-wildlife conflict victims

Mr Najib Balala Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife

By The Weekly Vision

Kenya is planning to set up a fund to compensate victims of human-wildlife conflict, CS Najib Balala has said. Mr Balala, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife told a virtual meeting early this month.

Ministers from Kenya and Gabon spoke at a virtual briefing saying that combating human-wildlife conflicts is at the heart of efforts to conserve the continent’s wildlife heritage. “Human-wildlife conflicts that have escalated in Africa due to climate change impacts, growth of human population and industrial farming is the greatest threat to the conservation of critical species,” said Najib Balala. “We need to balance human development and wildlife conservation in order to avert attacks that lead to loss of lives and property,” he added.

A mother and child watch an elephant over a protective fence set up by their community

CS Balala said that the country currently has an outstanding compensation claims of approximately 14 billion shillings arising from incidents of human wildlife conflicts. “Human wildlife conflict has now emerged as one of the biggest threats to conservation of wildlife and especially elephants,” Balala said during the Africa’s Human-Wildlife Crisis forum.

According to the CS, the issue of human wildlife conflicts is a complex matter that requires international dialogues in order to develop permanent solutions. Balala observed that the country has already put in sufficient measures to tame the poaching menace amongst most of the country’s iconic species.

He added that current mitigation efforts to manage human wildlife conflict such as use of fencing cannot adequately address the issue. He noted that expanding human population which result in encroachment of traditional wildlife corridors is one of the drivers behind growing human wildlife conflict cases.

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