Patrick Mutuku Mutua Koti Lemanten Lambarakwe James Lodungokiyok Musau Kitulya 2 KWS Rangers – Jonathan Rono & Allan Kinyua
During the course of this month the areas covered included Gazi general area, Buffalo Bent, the outskirts of Moodi Farm, and Mathae.
737 SNARES COLLECTED 9 POACHERS ARRESTED
During the month of February the Ithumba team lifted 737 snares, 54 of which targeted large game, while the rest targeted small game. The team made a total of 9 arrests, unfortunately 3 poachers escaped.
As indicated in previous recent reports there is a gradual but constant increase of illegal human activities within the borders of National Parks. According to the culprits their reasoning for this increase is due to the fact that it is dry and they feel they have no other option but to encroach on the natural resources in the Parks. The team has noticed illegal cattle grazing activities in Gazi which has never been known to happen before.
Patrols at Gazi General Area and Buffalo Bent
As noted in last months report, the poaching situation is increasing and the situation is starting to look as it had around 2002 and 2003. During those years poaching was very rampant and poachers were as daring as to set about 500 snares per poacher deep within the National Park borders.
During the 2nd week of the month the team camped at Gazi area. The team made plans together with Mtito team to combine our efforts to tackle this areas ever increasing poaching and illegal grazing, and logging problems. Together we patrolled from Buffalo Bent upstream and managed to make 3 arrests, 2 of which were serious loggers and the other was caught setting snares. The Team was surprised to learn that this particular poacher was educated up to Form 6 Level. He confessed to trying to outsmart the team by staying behind us as we patrolled. He was in possession of 43 snares targeting small game. He was arrested and booked at Mutomo Police Station.
Patrols opposite Moody Awori and Mwakila area
During the second week of the month the Team patrolled the Moody Farm and Mwakila areas. The Team arrested two men taking part in illegal mining in the Park.
Over the next couple of days the Team arrested 2 more poachers who were crossing the river from the Park side. They were from a gang of 5 poachers, unfortunately the other 3 managed to escape under pursuit, The ones caught confessed they had come all the way from Sheldrick Blinds were they had been staying for 7 days.
On the last few days of the months patrols the Team received reports that poachers were entering the Park daily along the Kasaala Fence line. The Team relocated to Ithumba and carried out Patrols around the mud bath area near the Ithumba Stockades. The team arrested a poacher which has been arrested 4 times in less than a year by the Ithumba Team.
Community Awareness campaign
The Communities bordering Tsavo East’s Northern Area have received a substantial amount of support & assistance over the last year from the Ithumba Team. Support has been extensive in the form of School Trips, Desk donations, sports equipment donations etc. The Team therefore expects the Community to reciprocate the goodwill given to them by supporting Conservation efforts in the area. The local area Chief has been at the forefront of these efforts and has taken the initiative to deploy youth game scouts in the Villages to apprehend & hand over any culprits to the relevant authorities.
Ngwate Primary School & Memboo Primary School trips.
During the 1st week of the month of February the Team organized a School trip for 2 schools: The Ngwate & Memboo Primary Schools.
Kone Primary School Desk Donation
This school is located in the Tana-River district which is one of the most remote areas in the country. The inhabitants of this area still live a traditional nomadic way of life. They are permanently on the move with their cattle. There have been efforts by the elders to settle in order to provide their children with education. The Ithumba Team donated 30 desks to this community to the Kone Primary School.
Report by Patrick Mutuku