On Friday 10th May 2013, the Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), William Kiprono, was guest of honour at the passing-out parade of the Community Rangers graduating from an intensive three month KWS paramilitary field training course, which included seven of the DSWTs rangers, at the Manyani Law Enforcement Academy in Tsavo West.
During this highly physical and mentally demanding program, the DSWTs men were coached through a diverse curriculum incorporating Human Wildlife Conflict and Mitigation Measures, Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Capture, Arrest and Weaponry, amongst a variety of field based skills including Field Survival and GPS Mapping. This program supports and prepares these men for not only protecting and preserving wildlife and the natural environment, but for any conflict against the very real threat of armed poachers and their highly developed syndicates.
Dame Daphne Sheldrick was also present at this prestigious event, having flown down to Tsavo from Nairobi to offer her support and congratulations, especially to the two DSWT rangers who won two of the three awards presented by Kiprono during the ceremony. Joseph Macharia of the Duma Chyulu Anti-Poaching Unit received the award for Best in Academics and whilst Nterito Kapina won the award for Best All Round Trainee, which are both significant accolades to receive out of all the 68 recruits who graduated.
The other DSWT recruits who graduated successfully through the course included Stephen Liyai of the Chui (Mtito) team, Paul Kamau and Peter M. Wambua of the Mamba (Kenze) team, Lemainten Lebarakwe of the Duma (Chyulu) team and Dennis Lemirwas of the Simba (Ziwani) team.
The graduation ceremony was attended by the Commanding Officer, Chief Instructor and Faculty Commanders of the KWS and a host of guests and visitors from a number of conservancies, wildlife ranches and conservation organisations in Kenya. The recruits faultless parade was accompanied by the KWSs impressive marching band, which performed a number of songs during the two hour parade.
The DSWT has now enrolled all of its dedicated Anti-Poaching teams through the Manyani Academy, each ranger successfully completing the full course and graduating with the skills and training needed to effectively and securely operate within the vast Tsavo Conservation Area. We are also proud to announce that two of our team members graduated from the Manyani Leadership course successfully in April 2013 as well, Moses Simiyu Wekesa and and James Lemeguar Simiti. Congratulations to Moses for coming 2nd overall in this leadership course. We are looking to add another 20 recruits from our Project Amu into the next Manyani community rangers training course commencing shortly. You can support all of our anti-poaching rangers and help us to protect the Tsavo Conservation Area by choosing 'Anti-Poaching' from the drop-down menu and donating to this vitally important program https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/is/donate_now.asp