Konza ITC - Animal Assistance

ACK Mary's picture
Sat, 2012-02-04 21:02 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:
Bottles tied for noise and reflection Nearly 2Km and 8000 bottles

Two weeks ago I was alerted about an issue at the Konza ICT Technical Park. The 5000 acre Park fence has been underway since early this year. I have watched with dismay as the posts were placed and as chain linke has surrounded the entire Park... leaving only about 1KM opening and creating a fullel trype trap for resident wildlife.

Michael Mbithi is a neighbor to the park and a conservationist. On saturday the 21st of January, he stated that he was witness to zebra and hartebeest running into the fence. Several KM up the road I have been watching a water bottle fence being built to keep game out of a vegetable garden.... would that work to alert animals to the presence of the fence? On Monday the 23rd I called the KWS senior warden who had not yet been alterted by the National Youth Service of fence closure. I asked if she would assist in getting permission for us to hang water bottles on the fence. She thought it was a great idea and started the process of seeking permission from the proper Government authority.

In the meantime, animals that had com into the park through the opening were walking in the direction of Mombasa highway where there was no longer a gap in the fence. Lack of rain and increased illegal grazing in the park left the permanent troughs and seasonal dams completely dry. Michael heads a group of cheetah scouts in the Athi Kapiti cheetah project. On 29 January, the staff working near the fence noted that some of the animals were looking dehydrated and weak. Michael contacted KWs and ACK to ask for permission and help respectively. While I attended a meeting in Nairobi, Cosmas and a volunteer (Peter Barber) joined KWS warden, rangers and Senior Scientst to assist Michael in surveying the area and assessing the needs of the animals. It was agreed that the resident animals on the eastern side of the Park needed intervention and temporary water until the fence closure is completed later in February. Michael coordinated funding and water troughs which provided a new lease on life to hundreds of kongoni, Grants gazellle and zebra. Water will be supplied every 2-3 days until the fence is ready to be closed and the animals can be driven out of the Park.The warden also asked if ACK could coordinate a pilot area of using the water bottle reflector idea

Several people assisted in the efforts to coordinate the donation of water bottles, transport and coordination of volunteers to hang the bottles. We receive a donation of over 60,000 bottles. About 25 volunteers, four ACK staff, five Athi-Kapitie cheetah project, two KWS rangers, one security person from ICT, and eight community members joined the effort on Saturday 4 February. Only about 10,000 bottles were placed because of the difficulty in getting the bottles to Konza.... this effort will take several days to complete.