Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 January 2005

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 January 2005

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Participants

James Mbuthia – Team leader David Njoroge – Assistant John Malonza – Tracker Francis Chege – Car security Masaku Mbanga – In camp CPL Mwoki – KWS ranger Peter Gitau – KWS ranger

Area Covered

Areas Covered: Iltilal, Kuku Ranch, Rombo, Chyulu, Triangle Nthongoni, Pipeline, Kimana, Jalai, Endasika, Langata Ngema, Utu, Noka, Nzeveni

Period: from 2nd – 16th January 2005

112 SNARES COLLECTED

Findings

112 snares were lifted, 7 arrests were made; 5 people harvesting Khat (a drug) from the Chyulu range, and 2 more along the Mtito river boundary of the triangle who had killed a buffalo.

The purpose of the operation was to make an impromptu visit to specific hotspots to confuse the poachers, and finally arrest them. Ambushes were well planned and coordinated. The camp was set at Iltilal area so that we can have easy access to the ranches and the Chyulus. Lamping method of poaching is highly used as well as moderate snaring. Intelligence sources reveal that bush meat is sold in Tanzania from Kenya.
Obviously the ranches need serious patrols and expertise since many animals move to these areas during the wet & dry periods. 1/8 of all of the Chyulu range was covered but a lot was left undone. We plan to move further up in the future.
Darajani remains a commercial Center for bush meat trade, the two poachers arrested in the triangle were planning to head there.

Community Awareness:

Proposal of fence project: On 14.1.05 we held a meeting at Kyusiani, the administration including the chief was there and the event was well attended. They agreed that a fence will finally solve the problem of elephant and buffalo menace. They promised when the funds will be available they will volunteer to provide labor during the construction of the fence. Due to the importance of Mtito River, a zigzag manner of fencing will be most appropriate so that both the communities and the wildlife can benefit from the river.

Report by James Mbuthia