Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 January 2003
Mtito river stretch from Athis confluence to Mtito town, Mangelete Matangini, Yumbuni, Ntonguni and Nthongoni areas, also Chulu slopes and waterholes within the triangle and pipeline cut line.
James mbuthia David njoroge John malonza Julius Mwania Mbanga Masaku Stephen Ngigi KWS ranger Wilson Nangisa KWS ranger
A total of 133 snares were lifted and one arrest made during the whole operation. The statistics show that 99% of the snares targeted the dikdiks while the rest targeted medium sized animals. Footprints of honey hunters were also seen during the patrols. People have just harvested their crops and is probably the reason for less snaring. The team has also maintained pressure on our area of operation visiting the major hotspots regularly. The situation is bound to reverse as hunger strikes the area later in the year. Waterholes yielded nil snares though not all were covered next operation will concentrate on the waterholes to ensure game is sage in those areas. Conservation education is falling on fertile ground. A community member from Matangini area alerted the KWS that there was a poacher in possession of game meat, he was later arrested and led security officers to the scene inside the park. The poacher comes from Kinii and was a person who had managed to avoid arrest for over two years. An axe was recovered on the file. Between kanga and Mtito 3 dug out holes meant for trapping animals were discovered. This method of poaching had not been seen before, after the animal has fallen into the hole it is either speared or shot with an arrow, we will refill these holes with soil.
Charcoal burning is still evident in Tsavo West, Tracks of bicycles carrying charcoal and several kilns were found. When the river circuit road is graded it will be easier to patrol with our low two-wheel drive pick up.
Three schools namely Matangini, Matulani and Mangelete primary schools were visited and video shows and conservation talks were held. They have started to register with WCK.
On the 4th of January we held a sporting event which brought together Kamungu, Ngiluni, Kyusiani and the Nthunguni communities. I presented sports equipment that was donated by the trust. Two teams Mamba FC and Kyusiani FC benefited from 2 balls and 1 net.
On February the 2nd I presented sports equipment to Mangelete FC. Many youth groups attended; Mangelete and Nthunguni communities. The area chief Mr. Buiko was also there where he cautioned the community against deforestation and poaching.
Report by James Mbuthia