David Njoroge – Assistant leader Alex Macharia – Assistant leader John Malonza – Tracker Francis Chege – Security Fiestus Muteti – De-snarer Masaku Mbanga 4 KWS rangers
Areas Covered: Mtito river stretch Ngiluni, Kyusiani, Nguumo, Mangilere pipeline, Kanga station and water holes.
638 SNARES COLLECTED
This months operations started at Kaluku. From there we went on to cover Kamunyu, Ngiluni and Kyusiani. In these areas we found a lot of human activity. We were able to see footprints regularly, as well as a charcoal burning site where a fire had been lit.
CLEAN UP EXERCISE
After having conducted our desnaring operations we concentrated our efforts in a clean up exercise of the Voi to Mtito main highway. This is a portion of the road Mombasa Nairobi road that runs through Tsavo, splitting Tsavo East from Tsavo West National Parks. The exercise involved three de-snaring teams: Mtito, Burra and Ziwani with further support from the Kenyan Wildlife Service as they provided a tipper truck and volunteers from Manyani Training School to help with the clean up. It was noted that the highway is seriously polluted with plastic bags, plastic bottles and old blown out tyres.
As part of this months community work we held two meetings. The first of which took place at Ngiluni shopping center which is found adjacent to the Tsavo East National Park. Unfortunately it is an area where the community had been hostile when it came to matters about poaching and arrests in the area. The meeting was well organized by James, the Mtito Team Leader, together with the community’s wildlife warden, the areas chief councilor and the village elders. The second baroza/meeting was held on the 24th of March at the Makutano area. It had the same agendas and aims as the first meeting and dealt with informing the whole community about poachers and their activities, as many poachers are members of their communities. We were also giving out information concerning wildlife conservation. The communities were found to have a positive reaction to the meetings and they promised to flush out any poachers found in their villages and report them to the authorities, as when poachers can’t hunt bush meat they turn to the villagers livestock hunting their goats and sheep, so they are a threat to the community as well, who are not always sympathetic. One more baroza will be held next month in the Mwakila area which has also been found to be used by the poachers as an entry point into Gazi and the Tsavo East Game Park.
Report by David Njoroge