The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: KWS Manyani Rangers Graduate

More than 300 community rangers will today pass out at the Manyani Law Enforcement Academy after undergoing wildlife conservation training.

The occasion will be graced by the Kenya Wildlife Services Board of Trustees Chairman, David Mwiraria. The move comes at a time when poaching activities are on the rise in private ranches and the rangers will boost security in the private ranches.Last month two female elephant were killed by poachers at the Lwalenyi ranch in Mwatate district which borders Tsavo west national park.

Wildlife conservationists and communities living adjacent national parks have also blamed increasing human wildlife conflict in some regions to lack of enough personnel by KWS to protect them from wildlife.KWS officials have also been lamenting that they have few personnel to man the expansive private ranches and parks and the more than 300 community rangers will help in improving the poor security.

In a press release dispatched by KWS yesterday,the community rangers have for the last three months been trained at the academy by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in basic paramilitary procedures, ecology and ecosystem management, Management Information Systems (MIST) and enterprise development among others. "The training is part of the KWS function under its community enterprise development programme in its strategy towards reaching out to communities that interact with wildlife in all of Kenya's eight conservation areas," the statement read.

It further read that " this programme is to develop the capacity of communities and private land-owners to establish and manage economically viable and sustainable nature-based enterprises within targeted landscapes of Kenya,". KWS revealed that the course programme has managed to tap into the abundant indigenous knowledge from a wealth of field experience for conservation purposes.

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