Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 April 2010

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 April 2010

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Participants.

Patrick Kimeu Francis Chege Nterio Kapina Samuel Lolochuraki Vincent Mutua James Nyumu

Introduction. When operations are done jointly the results are often higher and the outcome more successful. Big areas are covered over a short time and with fewer resources being used. Currently the Mtito team is attached to the Chyulu desnaring team, for support and further training. Though being overseen by Chyulu team leader their input has been noted.

Activity period. The desnaring exercise was done from 2nd to 29th April 2010.

Patrol objectives. To stop illegal charcoal burners and loggers from destroying Kibwezi forest which is a vital water catchment area. To dominate animal ranging areas and protect wildlife from poachers. Secure the forest from illegal grazing of domestic livestock. To identify and contain the forest hot spots.

Area covered. Kibwezi forest.

Findings. 9 Arrests 1 Snare

During the operation the teams were split into 2 with each assigned specific tasks. The Mtito team concentrated on the eastern side of the forest and managed to arrest 9 people at the Usalama area.
The team demonstrated resilience and hard work often willing to work during the day and sometimes late at night.They frustrated illegal charcoal buners who had made the forest their main source of livelihood. Snaring is almost contained in the forest with only one snare being lifted. During the patrols many charcoal kilns were destroyed and wet wood confiscated.
While camping at Kenze the teams patrolled all sides of the Kibwezi forest both during the day and at night. Many charcoal burners are arrested during the night when they operate under moon light or with torches. Many charcoal burners are also cutting trees in their lands and there is widespread destruction of vegitation in the community lands which poses a continued threat to the aleady degraded areas. We predict that there will be shortage of fuel wood in the neighbourhood and hence increase pressure on the forest. The cost of big bag of charcoal is about 550/= from a low of 200/=. The communiy consevation awareness project geared towards poverty alleviation and alternative source of fuel wood is very important. Maybe energy saving jikos, biogas use, or solar power sourcing will be a good alternative.

Animal sightings. Reduction of human activitities in the forest, has led to the free movement of wildlife within the forest which is evidenced by increased animal sightings such as buffalos,elephants and dikdiks as well as the presence of their foot prints.

Community awareness. Tree planting day. There were not many community activities as schools were on vacation. The teams managed to participate in a tree planting exercise which was organised by the area forester near the Kenze camp. Community members were invited to participate in the exercise.

Report by Patrick Kimeu