What you need to know:
- According to KWS data, crocodile attacks are most rampant in Tana River County followed by attacks by buffaloes and hippos.
- Outgoing county KWS warden Agustine Ajuoga said victims’ account details have been shared with the agency’s head office in Nairobi for action.
- The national government has set aside Sh950 million to compensate victims of wildlife attacks.
Omar Chalalu is still a distraught parent, three years after burying his daughter Maneno Riziki.
He was on an errand when he received a call informing him that his daughter had been attacked by a crocodile while fetching water in River Tana at Majengo.
“It was the most difficult moment of our life as a family and it has taken us years to come to terms with her death. We have not healed yet,” he said.
He filed a report with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and was promised compensation of Sh500,000. After a long wait, he was finally called by the KWS office in Hola and told that his compensation was ready. He was asked to confirm his bank account details.
“I was then told to wait for a few days,” he said. The few days turned into weeks and then months.
“It is now more than four months down the line and they are not telling me anything. Did they just mean to provoke me?” Mr Chalalu posed.
In Laini village, Ms Mwanahamisi Komora is equally worried about the compensation.
Her sister was also killed by a crocodile as the attacks continue to claim the lives of more women and children in villages.
It has been four years since she lodged a report with the KWS and she has not received any communication.
Left with six children to take care of, Ms Komora is overwhelmed and feels like the many promises from KWS that do not yield any results are a cruel mockery of her pain.
“We are still in the healing process and, when they start frustrating us with promises of compensation only to keep us waiting, it worsens our grief,” she said.
She appealed to the agency to reach out to victims only when they have the money ready to avoid giving them false hope.
According to KWS data, crocodile attacks are most rampant in Tana River County followed by attacks by buffaloes and hippos.
Outgoing county KWS warden Agustine Ajuoga said victims’ account details have been shared with the agency’s head office in Nairobi for action.
“Let them just be patient. We are waiting for the disbursement of the funds. Once it is done, all victims will get their money,” he said.
The national government has set aside Sh950 million to compensate victims of wildlife attacks. Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Penina Malonza said the dry weather has forced wild animals into human settlements.
Water trucking, digging boreholes, buying feed and fencing national parks are some of the government’s interventions to curb conflict, the CS added.