Isaac Maina – team leader Abdi Adan Samuel Lolchuraki Nderitu Kapina Kyusia Mulu 2 KWS Rangers: Peter Mwangi, Peter Gicheha
During the course of this month the Gazi team patrolled the following areas: Gazi, the Yatta - Athi river section from Cottars and upstream and the general area in and around Athi.
TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 472
In pursuance to the British army training that we received in December we organized a two day surveillance activity along the Kasala-Kyamathenya fence line by setting up an observation post. The objective of this was to practice how to manage an observation post in order to observe an area over a period of several days and to enable us to identify the poacher’s entry points and operational patterns. During this time one person was sighted exiting the park through the fence line. Our efforts to track him were not successful and it appeared that the individual was an expert at concealing his footprints which is why he could not be tracked.
The Gazi area was not visiting in December as the de-snaring team were on their annual leave we therefore expected to find a lot of poaching activities upon our return. The area neighboring Cottars showed no illegal activity. However once we went upstream we found sets of footprints entering and leaving the park. The footprints led us to the base of the Yatta where we found a snared jackal.
Upstream from Kona Nyati charcoal burning, logging particularly of Melia Volkenis, and poaching activities were witnessed.
We have found that charcoal burners ferry the charcoal across the river and loaded onto to Lorries for transport to various distribution areas. The charcoal is sold for 100Kshs per bag with timber going for 50Kshs a bag. We also were able to gather information about a group carrying out lamping in the area.
No activities were found in the Gazi area neighboring Mkwalima. It has been observed that most poachers are operating in the afternoon and a using different entry and exit routes. We have also notices that the poachers work in conjunction with poachers across the river who act as lookouts. Report by Isaac Maina