Wambua Kikwatha Team Leader Patrick Mutuku Team Leader Francis Itumo Asst. Team Leader Munywok Kisangi Tracker Samuel Odero Car Guard Martin Wambua Cook KWS Rangers Security
This period being a wet and also festive season was characterized by reduced illegal human activities in the park. Due to the good rains, most poachers opted to concentrate on farming which involved planting, cultivation and guarding farms from wild animals.
Snaring was mainly concentrated along the boundary although footprints were sighted towards the interior. Patrols on major hotspots yielded no fresh snares but old and mostly, inactive snares. At this time poachers are preparing for honey harvesting thus the footprints are likely to be for early honey hunters. During this period we lifted 246 snares for small game.
As the wet conditions give way to relatively dry conditions, we expect the rate of human activities to go up. Honey harvesting will pick up and in most cases it goes hand in hand with snaring. This time, we intend to cover most of the known routes and hotspots as honey hunters are known to go further in the interior making it hard to locate the snares they carry along. The rangers will be able to confiscate the snares before being put in place as the de-snaring team lifts the already set snares from the hotspots
Community work proceeded well. We had two main community meetings involving youth football clubs. During these meetings, we raised the issue of the proposed fencing along the boundary and the response is very positive. So far, several people have complained about elephants invading their farms. A meeting was held with the location spots committee to plan for a tournament where we will present sporting equipment to five teams from five communities.
When schools open next term we intend to hold a joint wildlife clubs function. The regional WCK office is expected to participate. Video shows and conservation talks will also resume in all schools. Besides our coverage area, this year we intend to extend tour work to other areas bordering the park, including Kanziku and Mutha.
Compiled by Wambua Kikwatha.