Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 October 2005

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 October 2005

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Participants

James Mbuthia Francis Chege David Chege Kathuki Ngongo Masaku Mbanga 3KWS Rangers – Mr. Labot, Mr. Joel Anyim, Mr. Amos Mukua

Areas Covered

The areas that we visited this month were The Mtito river stretch, the Tsavo river stretch from the Tsavo-Athi confluence up to the Ngulia ranges, the Rhino sanctuary areas, the Railway line from Mtito to the Tsavo River, especially around Kanga, Kenani, Kyulu and the Kyulu telkom stations. We also visited Mangelete, Yumbuni and the Tsavo west interior.

159 SNARES COLLECTED

Findings

A total of 159 snares were lifted during our patrols this month. 95% of the snares targeted small animals such as Dikdiks with the remaining 5% targeting medium sized animals. 4 Dikdiks and one lesser Kudu were found dead in snares

with a further 3 Dikdiks being rescued by the de-snaring team from the snares that they were trapped in.
2 bush meat poachers, 3 loggers and 8 cattle grazers were arrested.
Upon interrogation we found out that one of the two arrested poachers was a KWS informer who had been helping both sides thus making our work harder. We discovered 3 hideouts
and lifted 107 snares in the area around the Kanga railway station. 99% of the railway workers have been found to work with poachers by giving them water in exchange for bush meat. Other railway workers are poachers themselves. The collaboration between the poachers and the railway workers is one of our biggest problems as they work within the parks boundaries. A further 35 snares were lifted from Kyulu station which suggests that a poacher probably lives in the station or very close by.

We found that charcoal burning, logging and cattle grazing is still rampant in Tsavo west.

The high influx of people and cattle into the park coupled with the continual environmental degradation is putting pressure on the park boundary and the water catchment areas. Environmental destruction is high with cattle grazing and charcoal burning taking place deep within the park.
In order to battle this problem and stop the damage being done we need to start carrying out more patrols in this area. Around the Yumbuni and Mangalete areas we arrested charcoal burners, loggers and cattle grazers. Human footprints around the Tsavo River suggest to us that people are crossing the river from Mtito to areas like Kishushe and Maktau. We were able to see that the Ziwani team was active on the other side of the river where they made several arrests. The BBC team was with us for a few days this month in order to film the de-snaring activities. They were impressed with what they saw.

COMMUNITY AWARENESS

We conducted video shows at Ngiluni primary school as part of our community awareness initiative. The pupils were very excited and were shown “Keepers Diary” which is a Kikamba version of the Trust’s orphan programme. With the beginning of the rains starting soon we hope to be able to distribute Neem tree seedling to the various communities that we visit.

Report by James Mbuthia