Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 May 2009
Patrick Mutuku Mutua Koti Lemanten Lambarakwe James Lodungokiyok Musau Kitulya 2 KWS Rangers – Nicholas Mutegi & Thomas Chengo
During the course of this month the areas covered included Kalovoto, the power line and Kanziko.
730 SNARES COLLECTED 2 POACHERS ARRESTED
Findings During the month of May the Ithumba team lifted 73 snares, 66 of which targeted small gave, while the rest targeted medium sized game. The team arrested 2 poachers at Kalovoto near Kimathenya hill.
Observable Evidence Due to the persistent drought, the communities neighboring the park are entering the park in ever increasing numbers. There are a lot of footprints being seen by the team during our patrols. Logging is also on the increase especially in the Umbi area where there is a ready market charcoal and wood.
Patrols at Macho-kobo, Tundani, and Uma-uma The April patrols were a follow up to Februarys patrols, with the team revisiting most of the areas patrolled in past months. We began April’s patrols at Macho-kobo, Tundani and Uma-uma. We were able to arrest two notorious elephant poachers at Macho-kobo. One of the poachers upon arrest several years ago had reformed and had been working as a tracker with the Gazi desnaring team. It is sad to see that he has gone back to the illegal activities that he had rejected. The two poachers were found in possession of 40 snares, bushmeat and other personal effects. The two were booed at Voi police station where they received a sentence of two years imprisonment or a fine of 100,000 shillings.
Patrols at the Kalovoto, the Power line, and Kanziko It has come to our attention that poachers have been watching us and taking note of the times when most of our patrols are carried out. They are using this information to enter the park at different times to the team in order to evade arrest. We have noticed that they are found in the park in the early morning or at night. We started our monthly patrols at Kalovoto on the 6th of May and on the first day we were out were able to arrest 2 poachers who were in possession of bushmeat (from lesser kudus) and 39 snares targeting small game. The poachers were also found with 3 poisoned arrows.
Community Awareness campaign On the 13th of the month we visited Kisou primary school and Kasala primary school in order to let them know that they would be going on a field trip into the park at the end of the month. We also visited Kavete primary school in order to make arrangements for the donating of 30 desks to the school where most of the pupils study under trees due to the lack of classrooms.
On the 16th we visited Kone community where we held a series of meetings with the community leaders about wildlife conservation.
On the 18th all the desnaring team leaders met in Nairobi to attend a symposium on the bushmeat trade. The issue of sensitizing the communities about the need to embrace the wildlife that belongs to them was one of the issues discussed. The ready available market for bushmeat is another issue that needs to be targeted and addressed.
On the 26th and 27th Kavete and Kakithya primary schools both received a donation of 30 desks from the trust.
On the 28th and 29th of the month we organized two school trips for Kasaala and Kisou primary schools. The students visited places like Kiasa hill, Lugards falls, as well as the Tiva and Athi rivers, and they got to see wildlife for the first time.
Report by Patrick Mutuku