Through the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, the Government of Kenya compensates for crop destruction, death, injury, destruction of property and livestock predation that has been caused by wildlife species listed under the third schedule of Wildlife Conservation & Management Act (WCMA) 2013.
The first step that an affected person should take is to report the incident to the nearest Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) station within 24 hours of occurrence.
A KWS officer then verifies the claim and issues the claimant with a compensation form. Depending on the type of damage, different government officials are involved in the verification process.
African Elephants, species of elephants reported dead in the fire at Lolldaiga in Nanyuki
Cases dealing with crop destruction are dealt with by agricultural and land officers. Cases that involve human death or injury are handled by medical officers and the National Police officers (NPS) while cases involving property damage are dealt with by land officers and valuation officers.
After being issued with the compensation forms, the second step that the claimant takes is to fill the forms and return them with the relevant attachments to the nearest KWS office within 30 days.
When the forms are returned, a KWS officer verifies the authenticity of the forms and the relevant attachments before submitting them to the County Wildlife Compensation Committee (CWCC) for deliberation.
The CWCC then convenes a meeting in order to review, verify and recommend awards on the compensation claims and then forwards them to the Director-General, KWS.
On receiving the approved claims, the Director-General presents them to the Ministerial Wildlife Conservation & Compensation committee for validation.
The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife then receives funds from the National Treasury to facilitate payments of approved compensation claims.
However, the compensation for livestock, property and crop is awarded where the claimant has put in place measures to protect against damage by wildlife.
Compensation is used as a method of mitigating the effects of human-wildlife conflict. The aim is to try as best as possible to reasonably compensate an aggrieved party for the loss or harm caused by the ministry and by extension by the KWS.
After examining 13,125 compensation claims for the period of 2014 to 2017, a total of Ksh1.5 billion was approved to be paid for compensation. Other claims amounting to Ksh1.8 billion were deferred due to lack of proper documentation while claims amounting to Ksh1.5 billion were rejected.
For the 2019/2020 financial year, the ministry in consultation with the National Treasury had allocated a budget of Ksh569 million for the payment of approved claims as a way of addressing human-wildlife conflict.
Tourism CS Najib Balala launches the Kenya Wild Service Rangers Welfare Fund at Meru National Park on Monday, August 3, 2020