OLDERKESI WOMEN RANGERS
Olderkesi women rangers went through a training in October 2019 where all the ten recruits passed the training and qualified as rangers at Olderkesi community conservation trust. immediately after the pass out, they resume their duties. They performed very well, active and focused.
In March this year, the first COVID-19 (coronavirus) case was confirmed in Kenya and the president gave directives restricting the travel of tourists into the country, these led to a significant drop in the occupancy at the camp where our women rangers depended in terms of salary. The COVID-19 unusual and challenging situation forced the Trust to make a drastic decision and requested the women rangers to take unpaid leaves starting 1st April 2020.
Lucky enough MMWCA (big thanks to them) managed to raise funds for our women rangers salaries and on the 1st June 2020, they resumed work as follows.
- Seven of them return fully to work.
- Three of them applied for maternity leaves and they commit that after the three months of maternity leaves they will come back to work. We released two to start their maternity leave on the 3rd of June 2020 for three months and one on 1st July 2020 for three months.
Since then the women rangers have been working very hard toward achieving their goals.
In the conservancy they have actively participated in:
- Daily patrols where they do wildlife monitoring and stop illegal grazing in the conservancy core area and conservancy camp.
- Roads constructions in the conservancy.
- In one of their base where water is available, they have put up a small garden with kales and fruits.
- They have helped a lot in charcoal burning control and trees destruction in terms of firewood collection from the village women surrounding the conservancy.
- Before COVID they participated in sanitary towels demonstration and distribution to girls in school across the area.
- Clients walk and hiking
- Early August saw CWCT rangers participating in a race with the magical Kenya Ambassador Eluid Kipchoge and Cabinet Secretary tourism Najib Balala.
Minimal challenges are gone through by the women rangers when undertaking their duties i.e confrontation from men during illegal grazing incidents but they have been determined and vigilant enough to handle these situations thus cases of these nature are minimal.
Another challenge was that during the heavy rains the conservancy vehicle was not working so our women rangers risked doing foot patrols in the bushy areas of the conservancy especially when doing wildlife monitoring, they also require boots but the vehicle is now working.
Generally, Olderkesi women rangers are doing well and they are active, hardworking and focused. The conservancy has really benefited from the women rangers especially when handling illegal activities that involve women.
The community also has benefited since all the 10 ladies come from the community and almost 100% of them are the breadwinners of their families. The ladies also ease some conservancy activities in the community that involve women and children, for example, women rangers distributing sanitary towels to school girls.
On 16/08/2020 through our informant (Washon Sankau) information was received that bushmeat poaching was occurring in the Olmesutie Area. KWS officers together with CWCT undercover officers responded to the call and managed to arrest two men with a bicycle who were ferrying impala meat. The culprits were arrested by KWS.
MARA ELEPHANT PROJECT REPORT
Late in 2019, the area received a lot of rain and the settlements and villages surrounding the conservancy planted a lot of maize and other crops. Early this year CWCT received a lot of reports from the community concerning massive destruction of their crops by Elephants, we managed to visit several sites and we witnessed the same destruction.
Due to these human-wildlife conflicts we contacted MEP (Mara Elephant Project) to intervene. On 23/07/2020 they sent their team to Olderkesi and put their base at the conservancy main barrier.
On 24/07/2020 when on patrols we received a phone call from one of our rangers Mr Tuanei who was on his day off, that there was a dead elephant found in the Inkoirienito area. Liaising with MEP CWCT Rangers rushed to the scene. We found the carcass with the tusks intact (indicating that is was not a poaching killing but rather a protection of their land killing) and KWS, Area chiefs with the community were present at the scene too.
The carcass has wounds of arrows and a serious wound of a spear in between the shoulders, this reflects either poaching or retaliation from farmers. Reports from the resident said that they saw the elephant three days before just roaming at the area before his death. CWCT managed to remove the tusks and handed them over to KWS officers in the presences of both chiefs Kipees and Ass.chief Kima. Our intel officers will try to investigate the source of the injuries.
For monitoring and tracing the MEP team organised to collar one of the notorious elephants known for the destruction of crops in the settlement areas. On 17/08/2020 the MEP team with the help of CWCT rangers managed to collar on of the elephant, the collar will help in monitoring them when they are in the settlement area and also help to alert the community whenever they approach their crops and conservancy team/MEP will help to scare them away from the crops to avoid human-wildlife conflicts.
The airstrip looks pretty good. The cottars 1920’s tractor has been doing some groundwork, our women rangers based at the airstrip are doing a great job to keep livestock out of the place. No incidents reported
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All of the rangers, teachers, community liaisons and with the exception of 1 manager are all from the community surrounding the Conservancy. At 1920’s 40% of the staff are also from the community surrounding the Conservancy.