Patrick Mutuku Kilonzo Nzioka
The areas covered during our daily patrols included the stretch along the Athi River and the farms owned by non-indigenous landowners. We also visited the community to carry on awareness campaigns.
During the month of December, we continued with our relentless efforts of combating poaching and poaching activities. The snares which were being lifted were old and inactive; probably left during previous patrols.
The community awareness campaign through the Primary schools, youth groups and other recognised groups has been very successful. This has been witnessed through the change of attitude and total co-operation by community members who inform us of poachers who cross into the park from as far away as Kitui and Darajani.
The tree-planting exercise has gone down very well. The young trees we planted are growing with vigour. The community has realised the blunder they made by cutting down trees for charcoal burning. Having realised that; they are very eager and committed to replace the trees. We intend to organise the established institutions like schools, women’s groups, youth clubs to start their own tree nurseries. This is to make sure they are fully involved and also to make sure they don't repeat the mistakes of previous years of cutting down trees for charcoal burning. This is also to make sure the community identify ourselves with the community and hence become part of it.
The construction of the Trust House went on well as scheduled. On one of our patrols along the Athi River some staff of Tsavo Safari Camp were spotted doing fishing. We chased them and informed their manager. Hopefully they won't repeat it.
Generally, there was a decline in poaching activities. This is attributed to the vigorous community work done and the pressure exerted on the poachers. We anticipate the trend to improve for the years to come.
Report written by Patrick Mutuku