Mount Kenya Trust coordinates other projects around the mountain, in addition to the Horse Patrol Team.
The Trust also supports rapid response mobile rangers, known as the Joint Wildlife Patrol Team (JWPT), who move around the mountain to spots of high poaching and illegal activities.
The team consists of five men and two armed KWS rangers who undertake daily patrols in areas of severe deforestation and intense human-wildlife conflict.
Here DANIEL GITONGA RIUNGU describes his life:
‘On a daily basis we take patrols where we carry out de-snaring, wildlife rescuing, apprehending and arresting poachers and illegal loggers. Since we are a mobile unit we are able to cover large parts of the reserve and that has helped reduce the crime rates in the region. I take pride to note that the rate of poaching and illegal logging is reducing and that tells that our efforts have been fruitful.
Being on the forefront of conservation with my fellow JWPT team members comes with its fair share of challenges.
We spend most of the nights in the cold pursuit of illegal loggers and poachers. Even though an armed KWS ranger accompanies us, many times we are ambushed or come across armed poachers.
There was a recent incidence where we chased two armed poachers with six dogs in the late hours of the night. The poachers fell off a 20-meter deep cliff, followed by a KWS ranger. One poacher was badly hurt as well as the KWS ranger. A rescue operation was undertaken to save their lives. Sometimes these events can run a whole night leaving the team exhausted for the next day’s patrol.
I joined the Trust in 2009 after witnessing several incidences of wildlife poaching and illegal logging happening around my area. I come from Naromoru in Nyeri County and working at the Trust has been a good opportunity to grow my passion for conservation.’