KUAPO is proud to have supported the recent anti-poaching campaign that was held in Kirimon, led by one of our members – Osotua Wildlife Foundation and Save the Elephants. The need for a campaign there arose after tensions were high. There were several reports of poached elephants in the area prompting an immediate response that unfortunately had to be delayed because of the political clan violence continuing over the last few months. We are very happy that OWF and STE managed to visit the area. Please read below the report from Tom Lolosoli of Osotua Wildlife Foundation, summarizing the day. We hope to continue a systematic approach to working with the people in the area to reduce poaching by engaging local communities in a meaningful way.
FROM TOM LOLOSOLI OF OWF:
Save the Elephants (STE) and Osotua Wildlife Foundation (OWF) is pleased to have met people of Sagumai in the larger Kirimon area to share conservation knowledge and wildlife protection with a focus on elephants. Sagumai is a migratory corridor for elephants along Kirimon part of the extended corridor from Kirisia-Kirimon-Ol Donyiro-Kipsing-Westgate-Matthews Ranges & Samburu NR – Sera/Kauro-Biliqo Bulesa, -Kina/Meru NP-Tana River, making it a key area for protection of wildlife.
In Monitoring of Illegal Killings of Elephants (MIKE) data, Kirisia Forest and Kirimon have been established to be one of the key problem areas and previous anti-poaching sensitization meetings had already been held in Lodokejek and Kirisia areas with promsing results. We hope the same for Sagumai. Ol Donyiro which is also a known hot spot has been covered several times by our campaigns including other areas of Isiolo like Ngaremara and Atan and in Samburu East, Ngilai, Ndonyo Wuasin, Laresoro and Sereolipi.
The reception in Sagumai was overwhelming, the need and benefits for conservation were discussed at length. Not only did our campaign share conservation knowledge with locals but also resolved some resistance to set up a conservancy in the area by a section of some community members. Our team ended their journey in Lekuru Livestock Market about 20KMS away where we reached many more people.
We are grateful that our campaigns, in their small ways, have been able to stop poaching in Samburu/Isiolo region which in 2010/11 was leading in the country with an average of 239 elephants killed for their tusks a year. Since 2013, the trends have dropped sharply.
We understand that the Communities are the eyes and protectors. Employing 100, 000 rangers won’t stop poaching if communities are not sensitized. Rangers would also not be everywhere all the time, but community will be.
Our next plan is to go inside Kirisia forest for another jaunt and Ngurunit areas as we also progressively venture into Marsabit County.
Among our team, are reformed poachers like Koyaso Lekoloi.
We would like to thank and make our sincere appreciation to Kenyans United Against Poaching (KUAPO) for the support in reaching out to the communities always.