Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 June 2009
De – Snaring Report for June 09
James Mbuthia – team leader Julius Kyalo David Wambua Daniel Lekoiten Samuel Adero Noah Lesmirdana John Wahome 2 KWS rangers
Area of operation:
During the month of June the Chyulu team patrolled the following areas: Umani and the Kibwezi forest
ARRESTS • 2 Charcoal burners. • 3 Grass harvesters • 2 poachers
• To intensively patrol Umani springs area and Kibwezi forest to ensure maximum security of wildlife. • To generally dominate the areas establish the security situation on the ground.
Mounting evidence shows that competition for natural resources including fish, water, trees and wildlife contributes to violent conflicts in many areas affected by inequalities and in effective governance. These conflicts may increase in coming decades, particularly where shortages of water, forests and fertile land become more severe. The social effects on the local population are cumulative: large-scale migration, political instability and economic downturns that in turn may lead to ethnic strife, civil war and different forms of social conflict. Poor management of resources and unequal distribution of existing resources lead to vulnerable forest-dependent communities suffering most. The resulting tensions can lead to armed conflict and even war. Changing rainfall patterns will make land that previously was most appropriate for pastoralist more appropriate for agriculture thereby leading to conflict over land use between different types of farming communities.
UMANI CAMP AND KIBWEZI FOREST
The patrols during the month of June where a continuation if last month’s patrol efforts. Kibwezi forest and Umani area were revisited to ensure maximum security of wildlife and forest in particular. Around the Umani springs 3 grass harvesters were intercepted and arrested. This is a common phenomenon due to the prolonged draught affecting the area.
The camp area and the springs is a haven for animals that enjoy the security provided by the team and the availability if water & food. The improvement camp frontage and the lawns attract a lot of wildlife including the elephants.
During the patrols elephants, buffaloes, baboons and birds among others were seen. However the elephants were concentrated near Umani springs. Animals continue to flourish due intensified security. Zebras have also been sighted.
Wood collection and cattle grazing are legally allowed in the forest reserve, as a sign of good will for the neighboring communities. Women are regularly found carrying fire wood while herdsmen are required to pay to the forest office to be legally allowed into the forest. Charcoal burners are losing the battle due to our intensified patrols.
Snaring and wood carving are still taking place interchangeably because both are commercial activities. The two wood carvers that were arrested had snares targeting bushbucks.
The month was a busy one with a lot of community engagement in effort to improve the environmental education level of the communities and try to improve the current situation. In order for the Team to have an impact in trying to tackle human wildlife conflict, destruction of resources and poaching there must be participatory type approach in nature, where local communities become part of that effort. By doing so they own that project and if they succeed they will have a sense of empowerment and self reliance which will hopefully drive local community initiatives to protect their resources.
KITHEINI DESKS DONATION.
The school located along the Chyulu park boundary received 30 desks from the Trust as one of our support initiatives. The parents, teachers and pupils were very grateful of that gesture as many had no place to sit on. They also promised to participate fully in ensuring the safety of wildlife and other conservation initiatives.
FOREST CONSERVATION COMMITTEE.
As stated earlier people at grass root levels are now being actively involved in our conservation initiatives. The forester, team leader and the warden Chyulu organized a meeting at the forest office inviting people neighboring the forest for an awareness meeting. At this meeting the stake holders formed a Stakeholders Committee which will be working closely with us. This committee was tasked with reporting any illegal activity as well as serving as an entry point for reaching more people at the grass roots.
Sport is an important tool to raise Conservation interest amongst the local communities and bettering the relationship between the Team members and the local communities, especially to fully reach young people. The Team needs to reach more youth because they have energy and can easily tend to illegal activities and of course are also the future generation which will hopefully protect their country’s resources. Sports equipment donation should be extended to the youth.
Report by James Mbuthia