Lamu Residents Complain Of Increased Snake Bites

SNAKE

Residents of Manda Island in Lamu are horrified by the high number of venomous snakes that have been lurking in residential places and biting them.

Many say they can’t sleep a wink and have to stay awake to avoid snake bites.

In the last one month, more than 30 people from Manda island have been bitten.

The most common snakes in the area are puff-adders, cobras and green mambas.

The residents say their biggest challenge is lack of a medical facility on the island to offer urgent medical attention.

Joseph Kyallo, who is nursing a python attack says those bitten have to crossover to King Fahad hospital on Lamu island, many kilometres away for treatment.

“The distance between Manda and Lamu island is very long. By the time many arrive there, the venom is already beyond control and people just die like that,” Kyallo said.

They want Kenya Wildlife Service in Lamu to intervene and relocate or eliminate the snakes.

“Even our children can no longer play. We cant allow them. But even as we keep them at home, still we are worried since the snakes are now crawling into homes and houses.The KWS should do something. We cant kill them since they are too many and highly poisonous too,” Fatma Abdi, a resident of Manda island said.SNAKE

Similarly, residents of Kiwayu island in Lamu who have been bitten are seeking compensation from the government.

Kiwayu village is located inside the Kiunga Marine National Reserve and it has a population of over 2000 people.

“Some people have been rendered completely lame or crippled from the bites. We have on many occasions raised the issue to the KWS but no action has been taken so far.

Lamu County Human-Wildlife Compensation Committee chairperson Ali Shebwana confirmed that many who have died as a result of wildlife attacks are yet to be compensated.

Shebwana said the concerned Ministry was to blame for not allocating funds for compensation.

“As a committee, we cant compensate if we don’t have the money,” Shebwana said.

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