Recently our former poachers turned community rangers have had resurgence! Members of all four communities GVI works with along with other ex-poachers from the region have come together with KWS and Tsavo Pride to form a co-ordinated group to cover the entire southern sector corridor which runs between Tsavo West National Park and the Tanzanian Border, a hotspot for the trans-boundary Bush-meat and Ivory trade. It's a huge and extremely tough job, not to mention a dangerous one! But this group of forty extremely passionate and hard-working volunteers are eager to get into the bush to protect wildlife from inhumane deaths at the hands of their former colleagues.
Within six months of forming the group they have completed fourteen patrols, some lasting up to three days. They have successfully; recovered a total of twenty-eight snares from the bush, confiscated six Dikdik carcass whilst in pursuit of poachers, rescued an orphaned Suni, assisted KWS to successfully track down two poachers, mapped and reported the location of 2 fresh giraffe and 2 fresh elephant carcass.
KWS is very impressed with their efforts so far and a formal partnership is on the way! The rangers have recently received donations of camera’s, GPS units, binoculars, hand-held radios, torches, wire-cutters and a ten man tent from well wishers in Europe, Kenya and even from other grassroots organisations within Tsavo West. They have had a 3 day intensive field operations workshop from a Belgian Policewoman and GVI volunteers have given lessons on Operating GPS and digital cameras and undertaking data collection using “MIST Patrol” methods.
We wish to thank everyone who has assisted the rangers on their journey so far. They have come such a long way, but if they are to reach their aim of being the best community ranger organisation in East Africa, they have a very long way to go! They are currently seeking donations for uniforms and the establishment of three semi permanent camp sites from which to base their operations. The base camps will be manned 24 hours a day and will be placed near known poaching hotspots and routes enabling them to be ready to take action as needed and to establish a presence in the nearby communities to assist with Human-Wildlife conflict. Once they have bases they will also be able to start up income generating projects which will provide wages for these hard working and inspiring former poachers.
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