2 K.W.S Rangers.
This month we patrolled Irima, Ndii, Kulalu ranch and Ngutuni.
224 SNARES RECOVERED
We started patroling locally, covering the area outside the park entrance. Between Lion Hill and the Voi River two snares were lifted and we collected and disposed of masses of litter comprising of plastic water and soda bottles, beer cans and cigarette packets.
We also did another patrol across Irima, which yielded nine snares. There was no evidence of fresh activity from poachers observed in the area. We did notice large numbers of Impalas, Lesser Kudu, Elephants, Zebras, and Elands in the area.
The next place we visited was Kulalu ranch, which neighbors the Park's southern boundary. The government ranch under ADC (Agricultural Development Corporation) covers an area of 250 thousands acres and is used as both a cattle ranch and a wildlife sanctuary. Three tourist camps are located on this ranch. 148 snares were recovered 94 being for small game and 54 for big. Several animal carcasses were also found. Through the use of local informers we gathered information that meat is transported by bicycle to Chaka-hola and other centers on the way to Malindi. The reports indicated that there are groups who reside there hunting the game, while other groups come to ferry the meat to the various centers. Five poacher’s camps were burned; sadly no poachers were caught or arrested. We recovered the skin from a lion’s head, five Eland tails, a bow, four arrow heads, water Jeri cans and a concoction of poison which is used for the arrows.
Bicycle tracks were found which originated from the now camps that were burned down. Ten snares were recovered in the Ndii area however no new poaching activity was observed. Ngutuni ranch which neighbors the park across from the Voi River gave us reason to worry. Cases of three giraffe snarings were observed. The first one was sighted by the ranch driver and was found dead in a snare. The big mature giraffe had managed to drag the branch to which the snare had been secured for more than two kilometers before finally succumbing to what must have been an agonising death. The second giraffe was found slaughtered in the same area as the first one but only the remains of the skin were found. A third giraffe was also believed to have been caught by a snare; we were able to follow the tracks left from it dragging a branch for five kilometers before loosing the tracks. A dikdik was also found snared.
54 snares were recovered 32 being for big game. The snares were made from winch wire and the old railway telephone wires.
A total of 224 snares were recovered which consisted of 83 snares for large game and 116 snares for small game.
A major clean up of the Nairobi-Mombasa highway, between Mtito Andei and Voi. This exercise was conducted over a two day period during the Easter holiday, and was jointly done by Three of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s de-snaring teams, and KWS, over 150 participants who came from the Manyani Field Training School. More than twenty tones of litter, tyre debris, polythene bags, plastic bottles and refreshment cans were collected and ferried to designated spots before being burned.
The burst tyres strewn all along the Mombasa Nairobi road are not only a safety threat to motorists, but they are environmentally unfriendly and the wires that can be extracted from the tyres by poachers in order to make snares result in the death of numerous animals. Amazingly after we contacted the tyre manufactures requesting the help us dispose of the tones of rubber collected, non of them had the desire to assist, or the ability to recycles this enviromental hazzard.
Thanking all who participated in the exercise the organizers asked motorists and passengers to be conscious of their environment by acting responsibly by throwing their litter in rubbish bins as opposed to throwing it out of the car window. Companies using plastic and cans for packaging were also requested to fund such clean ups in the future and to distribute litter bins at all stopping points. Bus companies were asked to install litter bins or bags on their buses for their passengers to dispose of their litter. Manyani center was the worst littering point in terms of polythene, plastics and cans while the Kyulu to Man-eaters stretch was the worst in terms of tyre debris. The Mtito to Kanga stretch had a lot of plastic and cans littered about.
Ore primary school started as a Pre-school in 1993, the teacher when it opened was Mrs. Holiness Mbogho. In 1997 it was raised to primary school level thus splitting the school from the mother school in Ghazi. The primary school came under the leadership of Mr. Walter Mwawasi and 43 pupils were enrolled.
The community decided to do this split in order to reduce the distance the children had to travel to get to and from school, to reduce the number of pupils at Ghazi. However as the school developed it was faced with several severe problems which were a huge hindrance to its prospering these included the shortage of teaching and learning facilities as well as the lack of physical facilities such as classrooms, desks, text books, water and sanitation
These factors adversely affected the learning of the students, thus leading to a low mean score of 196.81 in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education results in 2004 which was their first year of sitting the exams. They were ranked 173 out of 182 schools in the Taita Taveta district.
In 2003 the Government chipped in by providing text books and other teaching materials. The parents tried their level best to establish physical facilities, but due to financial constrains they were unable to meet their target. Thus they only managed to construct four classrooms which are still incomplete. The same year the government also took charge of providing for the teachers salaries. At the same time World Vision made a donation which enabled the community to have two permanent classrooms erected.
Another donation came from the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) who donated money toward the building of twenty desks, seven chairs and the purchasing of some teaching/learning materials.
During the month of March Ore primary school was officially presented with the school furniture and water project courtesy of a donation made by Bury High School of England.
The water project was done in January with the student’s parents participating by supplying the unskilled labor. The parents and pupils were overwhelmed with joy upon witnessing the water coming out of the pipe within the school compound. Up to and until that day then the students used to carry the water that was needed for cooking and cleaning thus the water pipe was a big relief for them.
The furniture that was bought courtesy of the Bury High School's donation included:
27 pupil’s desks, 10 Teachers lockers, a cabinet for keeping books, and an office desk for the head teacher. These were all presented in the presence of the pupils, teachers and parents.
In addition the pupils and the teachers were treated to a field trip in Tsavo East National Park. The trip thoroughly enjoyed by all, and they got to see lions and elephants as well as zebras, giraffes, herds of buffalos, ostriches, impalas, waterbuck, lesser kudu, Gazelle, Elands, warthogs, dikdiks and many different species of birds.
To end what was already a fantastic day the pupils, teachers and parents were shown a Simon Trevor documentary film on water, the film was translated into Kiswahili.
Thanking the Trust and Bury High school, they all expressed optimism that the schools performances as a number of the major constraints have now been dealt with.
The Pupils are now sitting comfortably at desks as opposed to on the floor as they had in the past.
A tree nursery was set up with the wildlife club members of Kajire primary school. The exercise which was conducted through a local forester, Mr. Sare, is aimed at training pupils on how to procure seeds put up a nursery and propagate the seedlings themselves.