Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 November 2009

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 November 2009

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Participants

Alex Macharia James Nyumu Nterito Kapina Francis chege Semeli lolchuraki

201 Snares collected 7 Carcasses sighted 1 Dikdik rescued 1 Arrest

Areas Patrolled

During the month of November the Mtito Team patrolled the following areas: Kilalinda, Umani forest, Mtito River along the triangle, community area, and Trust land.

Findings

Community/private lands

The largest threat to environmental Degradation in these areas is logging. The communities are still encroaching into the park causing a serious threat to wildlife. Most of the community members particularly from Kyusiani, Iviani, Ngiluni, and Kamunyu are still logging in the park in the triangle. Bicycle tracks are evident within the park triangle. Poaching activities remain high despite the arrival of the rains.

We also visited Umani forest with 4 forest guards for two days. Thankfully illegal activities in this forest are relatively low.

Triangle/Mtito River

The work and effort carried out by the Team with the Communities is showing positive signs. This month a dikdik was rescued from a snare by a school pupil and reared for two weeks before notifying the Team. One of the dikdik’s front legs was broken from the struggle with the snare but the child who rescued it did a good job tying it to support the leg and let it heal. The Team paid a visit to the family who rescued the dikdik and they were very proud of their good deed.

Most of the snares lifted during the month targeted medium sized game such as Impala. During patrols 7 carcasses were sighted. The Team could not establish the cause of deaths because of the old age of the carcasses.
A man was arrested in the triangle with 4 bags of charcoal from the park. According to him more people were in the park preparing kilns. The Team reported the matter to the rangers and hope the issue was tackled by the relevant authorities.
The Team managed to confiscate two bicycles found in the park. The owner had left them near his charcoal kiln deep in the park. The bicycles were handed over to the KWS rangers.

Community Outreach

School trips

Two schools where taken on a School trip in Tsavo West National Park. These schools where: Maia Atatu and Syandani Primary School. The areas visited included Chaimu hills, Shetani Lava, Mzima Springs and Rhino Valley.

Animals seen during game drives included elephants, hippos, buffaloes, antelopes and baboons. Both Schools highly enjoyed their day out and were very grateful for the opportunity given to them.

Desk Donations

The Team donated a total of 30 desks to Mavindini Primary School. During the meeting, the need for conservation was emphasized. The Team also invited the local radio station MANG’ELETE RADIO STATION to record & publicize the event.

This was aimed at reaching out to as many local villagers as possible, bringing the message of conservation home. The local radio stations are a fantastic and effective way of reaching the local communities to help educate & raise awareness of the various initiatives that the trust has done to the locals especially through schools.

Tree seedlings

A total of 300 indigenous Tree seedlings were donated to various institutions including Mtito Hospital, various Schools & Children’s orphanages, and individuals from the local communities.

Conclusion

It is of paramount importance to make the community understand the need to conserve. The Team can now clearly see that the years of Community Outreach efforts are paying off and the message of conservation is well instilled particularly in the younger generations.

The Team has received two orphaned and rescued antelopes from the community over the last two months. Both of these rescued orphans where very well looked after by the local people who rescued them and handed them over to the Trust for rearing and re-introduction to the Park. The Team gave a great ‘Congratulations & thank you’ message to the young star from Iviani primary school who rescued the latest little Dikdik.

The Team feels a continued close relationship and effort with local community bordering the National Park is of vital importance to the future of wildlife in Kenya. Human population is only going to get higher and so a better way of living alongside other creatures that share our planet is of utmost importance.

Any conservation project that ignores the local community will never succeed because wildlife management includes the management of people.

Alex Macharia Mtito team