Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 March 2007
Patrick Mutuku Mutua Koti Lemanten Lambarakwe James Lodungokiyok Musau Kitulya Rajab Hamisi 2 KWS Rangers
During the course of this month the areas covered were: Umbi, Kalovoto, Kasaala, Lagga-kungu, Nthalakana, Mukua-nima, Kyamanyenze, Power-line and along the Tiva river stretch.
TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 49
The team resumed its operations after its one month annual leave during the month of February. The Chyulu team headed by James Mubthia came in to cover the area for the first two weeks of our leave. This was done so as to ensure that the area was patrolled and to keep pressure on the poachers so that the levels of snaring would continue to decrease.
We dedicated the first week of the month to community work during which we visited the Orma community Kone area in the Tana River District.
As reported in our January report we have witnessed a dramatic reduction in the number of snares being lifted by the team. This is due to the thick bushes and overgrown tree canopies with makes it hard for the poachers to find the snared animals. Furthermore due to the availability of water and browse the animals are widely dispersed rather than congregated in one area. The communities including the poachers have had a bumper harvest and are still busy selling their produce and harvesting their crops.
The March/April rains have started and we anticipated that the community/poachers will continue to be occupied with their farms. We tried to find and follow footprints from the fence-line but the common routes have not been used in a while. We visited Tundani which is a poaching hotspot but did not find any trace of poachers being in the area. The one place where poachers continue to be active is across the river. This is due to the fact that during the rains the river is full and we are not able to cross it. It is here that we found a poachers hideout that contained a lot of wood carvings. Expecting to find poachers we patrolled Mukua-nima and the Nthalakana airstrip but none were found.
On the 22.3.07 we moved our de-snaring activities to Kimanthenya hill near the Kanziko gate where we came across fresh poachers footprints. Upon following them we found a dead bush Duiker that had been hung on a tree.
During the last week of our operations we visited Mukua-nima. We combined our de-snaring efforts with road work being conducted from the Ikutha-Kibwezi junction (Ndauni) to the proposed fence-line. During our patrols we visited an area in Gazi where illegal charcoal burning takes place unabated inside the park.
The road work at Mukua-nima has progressed as planned. Ten casuals have been hired and we expect to have completed the work by the first week of April so that work on the proposed extension of the fence-line can begin.
Report by Patrick Mutuku