19th October, 2023. In a rather pleasant show of support and unity, members of the County Assembly of Taita Taveta’s Committee on Lands and Human Wildlife Conflict Resolution were today treated to a warm reception to the Kenyan Parliament by Members of Parliament from Taita Taveta County.
This happened during the presentation of a memoranda by members of the Committee, led by Chairperson, Hon. Joseph. K. Mwalegha, who’s also the Mwatate Ward MCA.
The MCAs, in their memorandum, urged Bunge to look urgently into matters of human wildlife conflict, which has become a perennial challenge for citizens of Taita Taveta County.
The Members of Parliament pledged to support the County Assembly in its pursuit for a lasting solution to human wildlife conflict, which they agree, has caused deaths, injuries, maiming of citizens, emotional suffering, poverty and further marginalization of the County and it’s people.
Voi MP, Hon. Abdi Chome, who’s also a member of the National Assembly’s Departmental Committee on Tourism and Wildlife, agreed strongly with the memorandum during a session with the Committee.
“Hon. Chair, one of the major causes of poverty in Taita Taveta County is lack of access to 62% of our land which hosts the Tsavo National Parks, which in turn denies us access to our main river and minerals which lie in the park,” said Chome.
Chome asserted that there’s need to prevent human wildlife conflict other than just wait to compensate people after damage, which he said can be achieved through Corporate Social Responsibility by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
Chome urged the Assembly to push for a legislation that could trigger payment of land rates for the 22,000 sq kilometers of land owned by KWS.
Mwatate MP, Hon. Peter Shake Mbogho, who also sits in the National Assembly Committee, decried late payment of compensation to victims of human wildlife conflict. Shake noted that only 5% of the people listed for compensation were actually paid during the last disbursement, adding that there needs for more transparency on compensation lists and payments.
Taita Taveta Woman Representative, Hon. Lydia Haika, spoke of the importance of working together as Taita Taveta leaders to ensure that the issue of human wildlife conflict as well as other pressing issues are dealt with.
Haika congratulated the Mwalegha-led committee for the memorandum which, she says, will trigger action towards bettering the lives of the people of Taita Taveta, most especially the women and children.
Wundanyi MP, Hon. Danson Mwashako similarly spoke of the need to put up a united front in this and all matters concerning the County, adding that when leaders support each other, positive things happen.
Taita Taveta Senator, Hon. Johnes Mwaruma, also joined in hosting the Assembly Committee at Bunge while promising to ensure that more monies are channelled to the County towards issues of human wildlife conflict resolution.
Others present were Wiper Nominated MCA, Hon. Rose Shingira, Hon. Nancy Mwakio, ODM Nominated MCA and other County Assembly staff.
The Committee was later joined by the County Assembly Speaker, Hon. Wisdom Mwamburi and was privileged to have a téte -a- téte with the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Gladys Boss Sholei.
The County leaders were joined by several leaders from other parts of Kenya who promised to champion for action in the matters presented to the Committee.