Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 April 2002

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 April 2002

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Period of Operation 08.04.02 – 21.04.02

Area of Operation

Mtito River stretch from Athi junction to Mtito town and the water holes within the triangle.

Participants

James Mbuthia – team leader John Malonza - tracker Julius Mwania -tracker Wilson Mingati) - KWS Ranger Joseph Rotur ) – KWS Ranger Julius Kyalo - in camp

Findings

Altogether 150 snares were collected in the areas of operation. Three poachers were seen entering the park, we arrested one and the other two unfortunately got away. However we feel that this was quite an achievement mainly because the three poachers had over the previous few days laid out108 of the 150 snares that we collected. The arrested poacher co-operated in lifting all the snares that he and his friends had put down and was then handed over to the police.

The caught poacher is a man from Kitui but he resides at Darajani, about 45 kms from our operational area. They were targetting bushmeat and ivory. We recovered 14 poisonous arrows, 2 bows, an axe, and 108 snares. When we have days like this it is a boost to the morale.

A second poacher was arrested while felling trees in the Park whose motive was to sell bee hives. He originated from Mbeetwani/Nthunguni about 15 kms from Mtito Town. We recovered an axe, handsaw, panga and 5 snares altogether.

It has become apparent that the majority of poachers are traveling from a futher away area. By targeting the communities that border the park we encourage them to look after what is theirs..

Community Awareness

Wildlife Clubs are progressing well in the various schools. Through their patrons, the pupils have been feeding birds while still on vacation by assigning themselves duties. Many schools have had their tree nurseries established and seedlings have already sprouted.

There was a de- snaring operation carried out by Wildlife Club members of Kikwasuni Primary in their school compound, where they lifted 8 snares! Childeren are beginning to get really involved in conservation and are taking the initiative to start smaller projects all wildlife based.

SPORTS

Kyusiani, Mamba (Kamunyu, Ngiluni) and Kikoni Football Club have had friendly matches against eachother which has brought the three communities together. More Youth groups have been joining up and making their own sport clubs, they have also requested assistance for sports equiptment.

WILDLIFE CLUB SPONSORPHIP

This year it would be great to take some kids into the park. The KWS bus can be sponsored for approximately 15,000 per trip (with some refreshments thrown in).

Report by James Mbuthia.