Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 October 2003
The October de-snaring operation was done in areas namely kasaala – Kimweli boundary Tiva River stretch, the Yatta and along the Athi River stretch up stream from Cottars to GAzi
Wambua Kikwatha Peter Mutuku Kasau Lerat Feisal Muteti Francis Itumo Francis Ekero Munywoki Kisangi Wekesa Mhebi 2 KWS rangers
Snares recovered from the first part of the de-snaring period totaled 414 snares. This stretch showed slightly declined activities compared to the last year’s findings. However only part of the Tiva area was checked. Poachers most probably from across the Athi are suspected to have come to the Yatta on the Tiva area especially where there is water. The Yatta – Gazi operation started with a sweep along the base of the Tharakana area form Macho Kombo-Tiva river. Althought our intention was to clear the Macho Kombo area to Tharakana, foot prints and snare recovery took us to the far end of the Sheldrick old house. Five days were chosen for the Tharakana are patrols. A total of 327 snares were lifted. All the snares were set mainly for small game. Tracks that we followed were made by two people and one set was made by seven.
De-snaring from Cottars towards Gazi started with a thorough check of water holes below cottars downstream. No snares or recent indication of poaching was identified. About nine kilometers from Cottars, two poachers escaped arrest and left half of a buffalo that they had snared. The ranger’s efforts to arrest them was unsuccessful. All known water holes were checked. There were many old and new tracks and foot prints that were tracked to theYatta and beyond. A total of 793 snares were lifted. Of that 152 were fro medium sized and big game while the rest were made for small game, during the entire operation eight poachers were found but escaped arrest.
After the Gazi operation, the team re-visited the Tundani – Tiva area. This followed recovery of one big snare cable. The area was patrolled for five days. However no more cables were recovered but we lifted 88 small snares. During the entire period of October a total of 1322 snares were recovered.
Animals are distributed variedly form Gazi down stream, At Gazi, very few animals mainly Dikdiks were found. No signs or evidence of big game was noticed at Gazi area. The number of game increases down stream with many animals found near cottars.
During this month, only two community meetings took place. All the two meetings were convened to discuss fence issue and the way forward other issues were also discussed. The meetings were organized jointly with KWS officers, DSWT field officers and the fence committee and the local administration. We involved all the chiefs from the affected areas. The community expressed their appreciation for the installation of the fence. They promised to work jointly with us in the maintenance of the fence. Members from Simisi and Ilamba location requested us to extend our community awareness to their areas since they border the park and they need to benefit from the same.