Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 December 2006

Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 December 2006

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Participants:

James Mbuthia – team leader Julius Kyalo Nasarwa Esimegele David Wambua Isaiah Ndei Kathuki Ngongo 5 KWS rangers

Area of operation:

During the month of November the Chyulu team patrolled the following areas: Kaunguni, Kasayani, Kenze and the Tidima areas

11 ARRESTS

FINDINGS.

The team was based at Kaunguni for the whole month as it is a poaching hotspot. The team continually patrolled the area in order to make our presence felt and to prevent people from entering the park.

The month of December was wet which hindered our operations. However the rains were a blessing for communities who had not been able to harvest for the past three years. This should hopefully reduce the community’s dependence on the park.

Most of the tracks were overgrown with vegetation which hid them from view. Poaching declined this month due to the fact that most people were busy tending to their farms. A wood carver/charcoal burner was arrested at Tidima as he was leaving the park.

The same area is known for charcoal burning, and we had recently intercepted a lorry that was coming to collect charcoal. Another lorry carrying charcoal was confiscated near Mbuinzau and taken to the police station.

The Kasayani ranch, which belongs to the University of Nairobi, has been found to be a poaching hotspot, with 4 charcoal burners being arrested.

The Kenze area of Kibwezi forest was visited and 6 people arrested.

Poverty in the area has been the force behind poaching. In order to successfully reduce the amount of poaching the plight of the people needs to be addressed. A comprehensive community project in the area will influence the people. Teaching them about the importance of conserving our natural resources will go a long way towards meeting our objectives. The Chyulu de-snaring team is therefore carrying out a survey in the community so as to find out what is needed to ascertain what projects can be started in the area start projects in the area. In January 2007 the team will start a tree nursery that will help begin a reforestation program for the area.

This month the team rescued a baby elephant orphan in the Kenze area.

This is the second orphan to be rescued this year and is an indication of the poaching taking place in the park. The calf was taken to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Nairobi Nursery.

Report by James Mbuthia