Patrick Mutuku Mutua Koti Musau Kitulya Lemanten Labarakwe James Lodungokiyok
Area of operation:
During the month of July the Ithumba team patrolled the Community areas surrounding the National Park. Due to the new restrictions the Team could not carry out its normal operations.
69 SNARES COLLECTED 1 POACHER ARRESTED
During the last week on the month the Ithumba Team together with 10 casuals from the Community areas took on the job of reviving the Camps around the Northern side of Tsavo East. Many of these camps have been neglected for several years and needed allot of work. The Team prepared the Tundani Campsite so that it can accommodate over ten tents comfortably. This Campsite is close to a waterhole which could have great potential for good animal sightings. During the work at the Campsite the team saw large numbers of Buffalos.
The team organized two school trips to Tsavo East National Park during the month. The first school was Tsavo Primary School which is located only 2km from the Park Gate. Surprisingly most of the students in this school have never gone into the Park despite being so near.
SCHOOL NEEDS ASSESMENT
The Team paid a visit to Kasaala Primary School to see the students, Teachers, and parents to conduct a general needs assessment. Some pressing problems for the school include water storage facilities, lack of equipment like desks, lack of solar panels, and understaffing.
The Team visited Kivuti Primary School which has 600 students yet very little facilities. This school is in desperate need of desks, sports equipment, class rooms, and water tanks. There is also a serious lack of teachers as well as food for the students lunch. This school has show dedication to our environmental awareness projects as we have been working with them since 2002.
On the 18/7/09 attended Kasaala Secondary school parents’ day, the school invited the Team to give the parents, teachers and students a lecture about conservation and ways they as community members can get involved and make a difference. The students wrote poems about how to conserve Tsavo’s ecosystem for future generation which were read out after our lecture. The theme for the poems was “time for excuses is over”.
The Team has been doing rigorous environmental awareness campaigns to the Oroma Community in Tana River District. This area is the main entry point for Somali poachers who cross into Tsavo to poach elephant and a rhino as the demand in the illegal market is very high particularly from Middle Eastern countries. A kilo of ivory in the black market now sells at Ksh10,000 which is a big incentive for poachers. Last year ivory was retailing at ksh300 per kilo and a person looking to buy illegal ivory could look in the market for a long time before having any ivory available. These statistics are shocking and very worrying.
The Team visited Kone three times this month to service their water pump as it has been breaking down now and then. The pump has been taken to Nairobi for repair and requires a total overhaul.
REPORT COMPILED BY PATRICK MUTUKU