Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 October 2002
Area of Operation
During this month, we patrolled the area adjacent to the Northern Area Park headquarters, the stretch along Kimweli – Kasala boundary, Kyamanyenze, along the Tiva River including Mukoka and Tundani areas.
Wambua Kikwatha Team leader Patrick Mutuku Team Leader Francis Itumo Assistant Munywoki Kisangi Tracker Odero Samuel cook / car guard Martin Wambua cook
This operation was a revisit of the above-mentioned areas. Last month we patrolled the areas and collected 415 snares. This month a total of 853 snares were lifted. In the late dry season, it was expected that the number would go up but more worrying is the increased size, 53 big and medium sized snares were recovered. Most of the tracks were found to be currently used but not necessarily by snarers. Logging, grass harvesting, especially by women and bow and arrow hunting was observed to be on the increase. At this period women engage in grass business, while their male counterparts engage in the bush meat and timber trade.
During the operation two dik dik were found snared and rescued. At one of the poachers’ tracks about 50 dik dik skins were discovered and many more found along the other tracks. A pregnant lesser kudu, a warthog and a bush buck were found snared and dead. It is worth noting that this boundary stretch from Umbi to Kyamanyenze has about 55 clear tracks not mentioning the new and unclear tracks. The tracks penetrate as far as Mukoka and the Tiva River about two days walk and branch to different areas multiplying the number alarmingly. The de-snaring team can only cover a small proportion of these in a month. While we concentrate on some areas, poachers take good advantage of the manpower limitation to poach in areas where we are not operating.
This month the Rangers made arrests of people in possession of bush meat, logs of timber, snares and poaching weapons.
Report by Wambua Kikwatha