It’s a breakthrough to families and people in Lamu and other aquatic areas , after a bill amendment that aims to reintroduce payments for death or injury resulting from attacks by marine creatures was introduced on the floor.
The Wildlife Conservation and Management (Amendment) Bill 2023 sponsored by Lamu East MP Captain Ruweida Obo seeks to include Sharks, Stone Fish, Whales and Stingrays among wildlife species in respect of which compensation as result of death and injury may be paid.
The National Assembly in 2019 amended the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013 and removed sharks, whales, stonefish, stingrays and snakes from the list of wildlife species in respect of which compensation is payable for death or injury.
Rescinding their initial objection to the amendment, the State Department for Wildlife has expressed its agreement to the amendment Bill reinstating Sharks, Stone Fish, Whales and Stingrays onto the compensation schedule.
Snake Bites Excluded
By removal of snake bites and marine creatures from the compensation schedule in 2019 , the state urged that it will help bring down the compensation claims, which stood at Sh2.6 billion by June 2023.
Appearing before the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Tourism and Wildlife on Thursday, Principal Secretary, State Department for Wildlife Silvia Museiya urged parliament to increase the budgetary allocation for compensation due to wildlife attacks as well as formulate a comprehensive legal framework that can effectively govern the compensation process.
“As a ministry, we are fully aligned in our support for this amendment bill, considering that these species had previously been accounted for in the compensation schedule. Consequently, we hold no objections to their reintroduction, we can only ask parliament to increase the budget allocated to compensation claims arising from wildlife attacks.” said PS Museiya.
Maara MP Hon Kareke Mbiuki, who is the committee chair inquired from the state department of Wildlife whether the affected people would receive compensation instantly or they will have to wait for parliament to set a budget allocation.
“Is this subject to parliament amending the act further, by reducing the bereavement from five to three; if we fail to do that, will you be still comfortable because we cannot guarantee you that there will be extra funding.” Asked Hon Mbiuki
According to Ps Museiya she confirms that the ministry has no problem with 4 species that were removed from the 2013 act to be reinstate to the compensation schedule.