Govt crafts new strategy to compensate victims of wild animal attacks

DODOMA: THE government is now crafting an emergency strategy to address complaints from victims of wild animal attacks and straying animals, Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Dunstan Kitandula has told the House.

The deputy minister spoke about the plan when responding to the question by Special Seats MP Yustina Rahhi, who demanded the government position on the possibility of establishing a special fund for compensating victims of wild animal attacks.

The current wildlife regulations direct that survivors of wildlife attack should receive 200,000/- in compensation, 500,000/- for victims who have lost body parts and 1m/- for the death.

However, the deputy minister said the government does not pay compensation for loss of life or injury caused by dangerous wild animals. It only pays consolation to the victim for the loss of life or injury.

The rate and procedure for payment of consolation for death caused by wildlife is stipulated under section 69 to 71 of the Wildlife Conservation Act, 2009 and the Wildlife Conservation (Dangerous Animals Damage Consolation) Regulations, 2011.

According to the deputy minister, the application of the regulations took effect in 2012, saying between 2012/2023 and 2022/2023, a total of 11.3 bn/- has been paid to people who sustained injuries or died from wild animal attacks or incurred losses caused by straying destructive wild animals.

“Many African countries have stopped paying consolation money to the victims due to various challenges but Tanzania government continues doing so,” the deputy minister said.

In another development, National Assembly Speaker Dr Tulia Ackson has advised the government to find the best way to handle stubborn bats and bees in human settlements.

The Speaker was prompted to issue an advice after Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Dunstan Kitandula said the government was instituting a number of measures to contain the problem.

The deputy minister spoke of the measures when responding to Special Seats MP Neema Mgaya who asked the government on efforts is was making to repel bats that were wreaking havoc at Upanga area in Dar es Salaam Region.

According to the deputy minister, the government has been carrying out a survey to establish the magnitude of the problem, identify the stubborn species of bats, earmark affected areas, and come up with ecologically friendly strategy to address it.

Mr Kitandula said in the ministry’s survey, it was established that the stubborn bats were of two categories – those that consume fruits, making trees as their habitats, and others that reside in caves or abandoned structures.

The deputy minister said in an attempt to address the problem, the ministry carried out trials by using five repellents to repel the mammalian flying creatures from roosting sites that are within human settlements areas.

He said out of five tried repellents two of them-Napthalene and Bat CRP- proved to be effective in repelling the bats. The government asked individuals to purchase the repellents and spray them at the sites that habour stubborn bats.

Some MPs demanded similar measures to be used to repel bees that are attacking people in some localities in Dodoma City.

However, Dr Tulia asked the government to come up with ecologically friendly ways to address the problem since the survival of the organisms is important to the environment and human life.

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