Wambua Kikwatha – Team leader Mwoni Ikuthu – Cook Wekesa Mhebi – De-snarer Feisal Muteti – De-snarer Munyoki Kisangi – Tracker KWS Rangers - Security
Umbi area, Kimweli – Kasaala area, the Yatta and the Tundani power line areas.
The month of January was marked by reduced human activities particularly snaring. It has proved that snaring during this period is at its lowest. Starting in April snaring shoots up reaching its peak between July and November after which it starts to decrease again.
During this month, 354 snares were lifted. 329 were made for small game while 25 were set for larger animals. Two poachers were arrested and taken to Mtomo police station. The first poacher was arrested near Kimathenye hill while the other one was arrested on the Yatta. It has been observed that poachers have now changed their old paths and are using new ones. Their style has also changed and they now operate at very odd hours when poaching is least expected. Our team decided to focus mainly on night ambushes as most poachers have been found to enter and leave the park at night. During the coming months our team will focus on the arrest of poachers by the use of ambushes.
Community Work Community meetings took place during this month as the de-snaring operation was going on. All the activities were carried out in conjunction with the KWS community wildlife service department.
Fence committee meeting Two meetings took place one at Kasaala and the other at Kakindu shopping center. The Kasaala meeting comprised of the community representatives from Kasaala, Nzamba, and Uiyinni sub-locations. The Kakindu meeting brought together individuals from two sub locations, Simisi and Ilamba. The agenda of the two meetings was the same because this was just one committee divided into two sessions. This was done due to the unavailability of transport needed to bring both teams to one location. The issues discussed included: • The security of the Tiva Mavuko electric fence • The way forward to enhance community awareness on the importance of the fence. • The proposed fence extension from Mavuko to Umbi and Tiva to Athi. • An educational field trip for the committee members. The committee decided to diversity their responsibilities to include conservation awareness and community development. It was suggested that the committee need to be very active in strengthening the relationship between the KWS and the community. It was agreed that there was the need to change the name of the committee from Community Fence Committee to Community Wildlife Conservation Committee (CWCC).
School wildlife club patron meeting This meeting was held on the 22nd of January at Kasaala secondary school. The main agenda for the meeting was to plan for the year’s calendar of activities. All the activities are centered on reaching out to the larger community to inform them about conservation awareness. The activities identified are: • To organize a sports tournament for the then youth clubs within Kasaala. • The patrons are to prepare a thematic drama. Poems and songs are to be done concurrently with the above tournament. • Patrons to organize an educational trip in the national park for themselves and the pupils. This depends entirely on the availability of financial resources. • The incentive process whose aim will be to reward the best pupils and clubs are to be carried out early this year.
Report by Wambua Kikwatha