Isaac Maina – team leader Abdi Adan Samuel Lolchuraki Julius Mumo 5 KWS rangers – Ismael Shongolo, Maraba Too, Peter Cicheha, Peter Musyoka, Peter Adero.
During the course of this month the Ithumba team patrolled the following areas: Gazi, Athi and Kona Ya Nyati between the river and the Yatta plateau, Cottars and Tharakana
TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 282
This months de-snaring exercise was concentrated on the upper stream side of the river between Kona ya nyati (Buffalo bend) and Gazi. The dominant illegal activity that is taking place is charcoal burning with the herding of livestock into the park for grazing coming second. A lorry with forty bags of charcoal was confiscated and the trucks driver, loader and one of the charcoal burners being arrested.
The area between Kona ya Nyati and Gazi towards the Athi River is inaccessible by road and with poaching, charcoal burning and cattle grazing taking place on a daily basis. Two poachers were apprehended in possession of two Dikdiks.
Closer to the river we were able to make a further four arrests. We arrested a charcoal burner who was in the process of lighting his kiln, which could yield eight to ten bags of charcoal. The second was a cattle grazer, with the last two engaging in both poaching and cattle grazing and had set 45 snares in the area.
The Athi region was a host to many activities judging by the number of footprints and the information we managed to gather thee are more than 20 individuals operating in this area. Most of the perpetrators come across the river, with a few of them coming from the Kitui area. Most of what is poached is sold across the river where a whole Dikdik is sold for eighty shillings, and a leg at twenty shillings. A bag of charcoal is sold for one hundred shillings. All of the individuals arrested were booked at the Mtito police station
Down stream from Kona ya Nyati a lot of poaching taking place with honey harvesting taking place occasionally. A hundred and seventy seven snares were lifted, nine of which targeted large and medium sized animals. A poacher was able to escape, running away with a pack of snares. We followed four sets of footprints but lost track of them when they crossed the river. As the water is relatively shallow, the poachers can cross the river at any point, using several routes, and thus making it difficult for us to lay any ambushes.
During our patrols near Tharakana we came across three sets of footprints. The individuals had come across the river heading in a direction parallel to the Yatta. We followed the footprints for about seven kilometers, unable to find out where they led and what activity the individuals may have been involved in. A total of 282 snares were collected and 10 arrests made.
Report by Isaac Maina