CONSERVATION AND DIRECT ASSISTANCE TO THE KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICE
In addition to The Orphans’ Project, the De-Snaring Programme involving six units, the Mobile Veterinary Project, and our Community initiatives, further direct assistance to KWS includes the following:-
An in-depth Professional analysis based on the geology of the region, aimed at identifying likely places where ground water could be tapped in the future. The drilling of 5 boreholes, and erection of three Windmills which pump water into natural pans during the dry seasons, thereby releasing the pressure on the Park’s only two permanent rivers, and bringing more of the Park into production. The Trust also bears the cost of maintaining another two Windmills in the Northern Area of Tsavo, at Ndiandaza which is used by the anti-poaching patrols and the Kone Windmill, which serves the Orma people on the Park boundary, keeping their cattle out of the Park.
We have rehabilitated the Ithumba Headquarter In Tsavo East National Park borehole and provided a De-Salinator to address the salinity of the ground water, thereby saving a Bowser having to constantly cart drinking water from Voi, which is 100 miles distant. We have made a large Fordson Tractor available for the Northern Area, purchased a water-bowser that can be towed behind this tractor, and ensured that the tractor is well driven and properly maintained by also providing a competent driver who is on the Trust’s payroll. Our permanent Mechanic periodically visits the out-stations to ensure that adequate maintenance is undertaken on all our equipment, and he also provides mechanical assistance for KWS..
For many years, we have purchased fuel to keep the anti-poaching forces mobile in Tsavo, since the Kenya Wildlife Service has long suffered from a mounting budget deficit and a paucity of funds for its field Stations.
The Trust has also provided fuel for the vast Northern Area of Tsavo, which covers 3,000 square miles, both for anti-poaching purposes and simply to keep the Ithumba Headquarters and the Senior Warden able to function.
An important project has been the erection of an electric fence to secure 38 miles of the very sensitive Northern Park boundary of Tsavo East National Park, abutting the Wakamba tribal lands. The Trust also ensures the maintenance costs of this fence through a monthly tariff paid to the Contractor. In this way the elephants are protected from becoming victims of "problem animal control", and the crops of the people are protected from the elephants. This is essential because harassment of the elephants could again drive them from the Northern Area which they abandoned en masse during the seventies, eighties and early nineties, when Tsavo’s elephants endured massive poaching. They are only now just beginning to venture back).
In the interests of adequate aerial surveillance, essential for the protection of the Park, not to mention the life of its Pilot, we carried the cost of reconditioning the engine of the Tsavo East Surveillance plane. We have also repaired numerous vehicles, purchased tyres and spares for the Tsavo East fleet, provided radio equipment for the anti-poaching patrols, donated Containers which have been converted into Ranger Outposts situated at strategic places in the Park, hired a Helicopter to help in the pursuit of armed poaching gangs, as well as to drive a herd of 300 elephants who found themselves in human habitation back into the safety of the Park.
Other Parks:- In Nairobi National Park, we ensure that we, and KWS always have water. We have provided the borehole pump and carry its maintenance costs. We have also rehabilitated a second borehole at East Gate to save water having to be carted from Park Headquarters and purchased tyres for the Nairobi Park’s Tanker. The Trust also undertook the cost of rooting out and removing the alien Prickly Pear Cactus which threatened to proliferate out of control within the Park. And, of course, we have hand-reared and rehabilitated 6 orphaned rhinos in Nairobi to boost the numbers of this highly endangered species, three of which have been rehabilitated amongst the wild community of Nairobi National Park, and none of whom would have survived without our expertise. Other orphaned rhinos were amongst the first to be free released within Tsavo East National Park and are now living wild.
With a donation of K. Shs. 1 million, we began the rehabilitation of Meru National Park’s field Headquarters, and then persuaded The International Fund for Animal Welfare to get involved in the rehabilitation of the entire Park, which has put Meru back on the map. It is now the Show Piece of Kenya’s National Parks, French Aid having stepped in to ensure its further rehabilitation and re-stocking with wildlife.
We have supported anti-poaching within Mount Kenya National Park by giving financial support for additional Rangers until The Bill Woodley Mount Kenya Trust was able to pick up the tab.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust P.O. Box 15555 Nairobi Kenya
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