Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 April 2005
James Mbuthia – Team leader David Njoroge – Assistant leader Alex Macharia – In training John Malonza – Tracker Francis Chege – Security / de-snarer Fistal Muteti – De-snarer Masaku Mbanga – Cook 4 KWS rangers
Areas Covered: The Tsavo East National Park Triangle, the pipeline, Tsavo West boundary from Mtito town to the Chulus, the Chulu slopes towards Kilanguni Lodge and surrounding areas.
216 SNARES COLLECTED 3 ARRESTS
A total of 216 snares were lifted and 3 arrests were made during April. This month showed an increase in logging incidents and charcoal burning in Tsavo West National Park. Of the snares that we lifted 80% targeted small game such as Dikdiks, while the rest targeted big game. We visited many waterholes where thankfully we didn’t find any snares and there were no signs of snares having been set. There was an increase in the number of people in the park. We presume them to be poachers who use the lamping method or early honey hunters. We found a large number of footprints deep inside the park and around Kilanguni Lodge. It is important that the parks boundaries be properly marked by a surveyor in order to prevent further encroachment into the park by loggers and farmers. Overgrazing by livestock is also a problem that needs to be urgently re-addressed, as when overgrazing occurs there is very little left for the wild grazers to eat who as a consequence have to move in search of food. The Mtito team together with the KWS rangers had a successful month, however in order to be as effective as possible the pressure that they apply on the poachers must be maintained in the following months.
With the onset of the short rains 1020 seedlings from the trust nursery were distributed to the community. The villages that were given seedlings included Kamunyu, Ngiluni and Kyusiani.
While on leave in March, two meetings were held, one at Ngiluni on the 9th of March and one at Makutano on the 24th of March. The purpose of these meetings was to sensitize the community about the importance of protecting wildlife and the environment. The meetings were attended by the Community Warden of Tsavo East, the chief of Mtito Andei, the Community leaders and members of the community.
Report by James Mbuthia