Patrick Waema Mutuku Team leader and report writer Kilonzo Nzioka
The area covered during our daily routine patrols includes, along the Athi River and the adjacent farms owned by non-indigenous land owners. Also constant patrols from Kaluku Farm, our base, along the Mtito River upstream. The river is the boundary of the Park and poachers cross to enter the Park.
During these daily patrols, and in the spirit of conservation we intend to bring this silent poaching to zero-tolerance levels. When doing this we are guided by the principles of the bottom to top approach whereby we apply dialogue when possible to the community living next to the Park.
During the month of August we lifted 34 snares, mainly for small animals. 7 Bird traps were also lifted, some birds were found struggling for dear life – they were released and were lucky for a second chance of living.
In the month of September 15 snares were lifted. This improvement was because a house construction on the N.I. landowner’s land had employed some of the notorious culprits. This clearly shows that employment is the best measure against poaching, leaving little time for such activities.
The Fish situation. On 27th August, while patrolling, we noticed fish dyeing en masse. Co-inciding with this the water of the Athi River had turned an abnormal green colour, we suspect due to the effects of pollution. The tilapia seemed to be the only type dyeing. We feared for both people and wild animals who rely on the same water to drink.
The tree nursery established at Kaluku Farm has done marvelously. The seedlings are ready, and we intend to give them out to the community when the short rains come. They will be distributed to schools, Ngiluni dispensary, and individual homesteads.
The situation across the Athi River inside Tsavo East is obviously not at all good. Fires are often spotted at night. Bandits, honey hunters, poachers, are all a well known reality on the Yatta.