Boots on the ground are critical for the protection of wildlife and the SWT is delighted to be able to assist the frontline KWS Rangers protecting black and white rhinos in the Meru Rhino Sanctuary.
On Saturday, 25th January 2020, we presented the KWS Senior Warden for Meru National Park, and his personnel, with extensive camping equipment, including tents, chairs, mattresses, and custom-built solar energy units. This donation will help ensure KWS Meru Rhino Sanctuary Rangers continue to have the equipment they need to perform their role as frontline guardians and protectors of the critically endangered black rhinos and near threatened white rhinos that live in the Meru Rhino Sanctuary.
In 2017 we partnered with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to upgrade and extend the Meru Rhino Sanctuary, which sits within Meru National Park. With the support of SWT donors, we completed the works in April 2018, expanding the area of the sanctuary from 48km² to 83.5km² to provide more space for the growing resident rhino population.
As part of the upgrade two security bases were built to house KWS Rangers and a new perimeter electric fence was redesigned and extended a further 25.6 kms, with 20 wildlife corridors incorporated into the design at strategic locations. These corridors allow for the free movement of elephants and other species in and out of the sanctuary, but not rhinos, who are unable to climb over or pass between the thick, short wooden posts inserted in the ground.
Since completion of the upgrade, we have remained closely engaged with the sanctuary, funding fence maintenance teams, who patrol the perimeter daily to ensure and integrity of the fence, providing and maintaining vehicles for KWS security teams. Most recently, funding the construction of a third security base for KWS within the sanctuary and making this considerable donation of camping equipment to enhance conditions for KWS Rangers who work so hard to ensure the rhinos within the sanctuary remain safe.