This report covers the period from 1st to 12th March 2004.
The Senior Warden and Chief Executive met with three members of the Trans Mara Development Programme who are developing a land use plan on behalf of the Mara Siria Community Conservation Trust. We discussed a number of issues and confirmed our support for such a plan that endorsed conservation and community related conservation projects.
The Chairman, Mr W Roberts and Mr Alan Root spent two days making a promotional video of the Mara Triangle on the 3rd and 4th. They were accompanied by Ms Kire Godal-Moller, who assisted with the filming.
We were visited by a senior reporter, Mr Joe Ageyo, from the Kenya Television Network (KTN) on the 3rd. They were doing a report on the Mara Triangle for their Sunday evening programme the Eco-Journal. This report was aired over two Sundays. It is unfortunate that the report downplayed all the positives in the Triangle and instead introduced a negative bias.
We were visited by Ms Jane Barsby on the 3rd and 4th. Ms Barsby was researching two possible articles on the Mara Conservancy.
We visited Ms Leslie Roach on the 4th. Ms Roach was staying with guests at the Rekero camp, near Ol Kiombo. She, in turn, visited the Conservancy with her guests on the 6th.
We held a meeting with the Clerk, Narok; five senior Councillors, including the vice-Chairman; three wardens and three technical staff on the afternoon of the 6th. The meeting was very positive and resolved the issue of traversing rights in the Mara until a stakeholders’ meeting can be scheduled to discuss the issue. We also discussed issues of common interest including: security, the up-keep of access roads and the Masai Mara Management Committee (MMMC).
There was an East African Wildlife Society sponsored meeting on the Masai Mara on the 11th March in Nairobi.
The Mara Conservancy hosted a stakeholders meeting on the 29th at Mara Serena..
Mr J Baxendale spotted a butchered hippo on the Narok side of the Mara River from the air on the 3rd. M/s Alan Root and W Roberts visited the scene by helicopter, located the poachers’ camp and collected or destroyed all their belongings. We immediately informed the Narok Wardens and that night we tried to set an ambush but the anti-poaching team were unable to locate the exact site in the dark. On the following day we sent in an anti-poaching team but were too late, the previous night the poachers had returned and collected their meat. On the 5th we found tracks of seven people heading back to Tanzania and assumed that these were the same gang. The tracks were followed well into Tanzania before they were lost. The Narok rangers responded to our message of the 3rd on the 5th and visited the Triangle but never located the poachers or their camp.
Two poachers were arrested in an ambush on the Tanzanian side of the border on the night of the 5th by the Ngiro-are anti-poaching team, a third escaped. They were on their way to hunt along the Mara River and were apprehended by 9.00 pm. They had 20 wire snares and spears.
We conducted a follow-up patrol on the Narok side of the river on the 8th, without any rangers from Narok, and arrested one wa Kuria poacher from a gang of five. They had arrived just downstream of the Mara River/Talek junction the previous night and had killed one warthog that morning. Our patrol encountered the poachers several kilometres from their camp and those that escaped managed to return to camp and recover most of their belongings.
Personnel from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) visited the Triangle on the 9th and registered all our new recruits and any other staff members who had never been registered.
I was removed from the Mara Triangle on Friday 12th March by the Member of Parliament for Trans Mara. He was accompanied by the District Commissioner, Trans Mara, Officer Commanding Kilgoris police Division, and three of our Directors, including the Chairman, Clerk to Trans Mara County Council and Mr K T ole Kijabe. The reason given for my eviction initially revolved around a letter written by the Clerk, to the Directors, saying that she could no longer work with me. It later became apparent that the real reason was that the MP was unable to work with me. He stated so in a meeting that was held specifically to tell me so. I am currently on leave, until the issue is resolved.
The Senior Warden, Mr Douglas Sikawa, was dismissed on the 16th April and Mr J Baxendale was appointed the senior officer on the ground
M/s Skyapple delivered most of the equipment and uniforms for our recruits on the 6th, the remainder was to be delivered by the end of the month.
We hired a lorry to transport the five pre-fabricated staff houses on the 6th. We also used the same lorry to transport pipes and fittings for the public toilets at Mara Bridge.
Maps were received on the 15th and copies sent to the Mara.
Revenue and Accounts
February revenue was up on February 2003 and up by 11% on January this year.
Report on focus for March