The Governor H.E Governor Granton Samboja thanked IGRTC for according the county government an opportunity to present the dispute on revenue sharing as mandated by law.
The County Government reported that the community in Taita Taveta had and will always support the conservation of wildlife. However, it was observed that the mode of conservation employed by KWS was one that maintained a colonial structure, which had failed to address the human/wildlife conflict, and in its place had elevated wildlife over human life. This means that when communities were attacked and killed by wildlife they were never compensated and when compensated the process takes almost fifteen (15) years or more.
Further, the county informed the meeting that due to the fact that Tsavo National Park occupies 62% of the entire county where communities accrue no economic benefits while less than 12% is left for farming and settlement whereas the rest of the land is in the hands of large private estates and public land respectively. As a result, the county had experienced high economic migration to other counties due to land scarcity, which has forced communities to seek employment in other counties. On the other hand, migration to other counties has exacerbated the situation further, where the county has been struck off from the equalization fund due to population decline and as a result lost funds aimed at bringing the county at par with other counties in the provision of basic services. In conclusion, the Governor pleaded with IGRTC to mediate on the dispute as a matter of urgency since IGRTC provides for the establishment and utilization of Alternative Dispute Resolution.The Committee is focused on facilitating this process.