Kenya: Maasai Community Want Wildlife Bill Passed

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Cost of Human Wildlife conflictRepresentatives of the Maasai community have staged protests in Nairobi, threatening to sabotage operations in all parks if Parliament fails to enact the Wildlife Bill. The protesters are calling for a greater share of revenue from wildlife parks.

According to the Wildlife Bill of 2011, local communities surrounding tourist destinations and wildlife parks should be legally constituted to ensure fair and equitable distribution of money resources.

Where communities require a professional partnership to undertake tourism ventures, the Bill proposes that the Service should ensure that there is equity in relation to rents and profit sharing.The Service shall provide guidelines for this purpose.

If the Bill is enacted into law, the department responsible for wildlife shall make appropriate budgetary arrangements for funds to compensate for damage occasioned by wildlife. The bill proposes compensation for injury to person or death, livestock, crops and property damage occasioned by wildlife.

Any person who suffers loss or damage to crops, livestock or other property from wildlife shall submit a claim to the county wildlife conservation committee who shall verify the claim and make recommendations as appropriate and submit it to the managing trustees of the Compensation Fund for award and payment.

Furthermore, where the person is dissatisfied with the decision and award made by the Compensation Fund, can within thirty days after being notified of the decision and award, appeal to the court established under Article 162 (2) (b) of the Constitution.

The Bill states that any person, who makes a false claim or makes a false statement to the county wildlife compensation committee or Cabinet Secretary in respect of a wildlife damage claim, shall be guilty of an offence under the applicable laws dealing with corruption and economic crimes.

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