Faru Team Burra Update: 01 May 2006

Faru Team Burra Update: 01 May 2006

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Participants:

Mathew Kiura – team leader Boro Gitau John Malonza Samuel Odero Samuel Msaku 2 KWS Rangers

Area of operation:

During the month of May, the Burra team concentrated its activities in the community/private ranches in addition to parts of the park. Our de-snaring activities included patrols, ambushes, arresting of poachers and the lifting of snares. The areas covered were Kasigau ranch, Maungu ranch, Rukinga ranch, Sagala ranch, Bachuma grazing zones, Taita Village, Ngutuni ranch an the areas in and around Ndii/Manyani.

75 SNARES RECOVERED

FINDINGS.

A total of 75 snares were retrieved 7 targeted large game such as buffalo, 38 targeted medium sized game such as gazelles and 30 targeted small game particularly Dikdik. We were able to arrest one person and recover several kilograms of bush meat that was being dried and seasoned at Taita village.

Observable evidence. During the months operations we came across several things with the main one being the continuous destruction of vegetation. We witnessed this destruction, which is a result of ongoing charcoal burning, in all of the ranches that we visited except for Rukinga ranch. This destruction of vegetation affects the wildlife in the area which depends on it for its survival. The destruction of vegetation will lead to the slow loss of our wildlife. This is already evident as the number of wild animals in the ranches has decreased.

While patrolling at Taita village / the Bachuma grazing fields we recovered several kilos of bushmeat providing evidence that poaching is still taking place in the area.

We were able to arrest the individual who was in possession of the bushmeat and booked him at Voi police station.
We also came across the partial skull of a kudu that had clear cut marks on it. In addition to the bushmeat and Kudu skull we also cam across several yards of drift fences that had snares strategically positioned along them.

In the ranches poaching is very well concealed and difficult to detect due to the number of people that freely move about in the ranches. It is hard to distinguish the herders and charcoal burners from the poachers.

Community Due to the massive destruction of vegetation taking place in the ranches the Burra de-snaring team distributed 300 seedlings of different tree species to various schools in the area,

such as Kajire secondary and primary school, Mwabiti secondary and primary school, as well as Kalela and Kilubi primary school.
We also distributed seedlings to the Wazee Women’s Group and the Ndovu health center. The de-snaring team is focusing on training the local community, especially schools, youth groups and women groups, on seed propagation so as to ensure the sustainability and continuity of the project and to restore the vegetation cover.

British Army Training At the beginning of the month the de-snaring teams underwent a third training session with the British Army.

The training featured map reading, navigation, first aid, handling emergencies, team building and physical exercise.
Map reading involved the taking of grid references which were then converted to magnetic references.
The navigation training taught us to take fore and back bearings.
First aid showed us how to attend to and evacuate casualties
that had been in an accident and sustained injuries of various kinds.
We were taught how to respond and manage different emergencies under different conditions.
Leadership skills and communication were enhanced during the team building section of the training.

Report by Mathew Kiura