KWS Law Enforcement Academy
Manyani Training School
The establishment of the Kenya Wildlife Service in 1989 as a State corporation also a marked a turning point for its paramilitary training wing. The process effected the conversion of Manyani Anti Poaching Camp into a paramilitary training facility.
Before that, wildlife officers and rangers were trained in different institutions. Most officers at that time were trained by the Armed Forces at Gilgil and at the Administration Police College in Embakasi, Nairobi. Occasionally, the training was conducted internally by the Wildlife Conservation Management Department (WCMD) at Kenya Wildlife Service Mbagathi Workshop ground and the Ngong station.
The transformation of the organisation saw the General Service Unit (GSU) coming on board to train the newly formed KWS uniformed personnel
on paramilitary drills. The earlier training in these different institutions was an attempt to identify which among them could offer appropriate and relevant paramilitary training to wildlife personnel. It was found that none of them could meet the requirements of wildlife conservation. It also emerged that the training was not of the same standard and hence the Wildlife Conservation and Management Department had a uniformed wing comprising of personnel with different paramilitary training.
It was, therefore, upon the formation of the Kenya Wildlife Service that it became apparent that there was need to establish our own training school principally to promote and harmonise paramilitary training, including wildlife conservation concepts.
The Kenya Wildlife Service Field Training School – Manyani was thus established in early 1990. It is located within Tsavo West National Park and situated off the Nairobi - Mombasa Road, 290 km South of Nairobi and 196 km North of Mombasa. The area is usually hot and remains dry for most of the year, typical of Savannah national park and reserves.
Over the years the school has seen gradual change in terms of its infrastructure, i.e. the upgrading of training and accommodation facilities. These include a mosque, kitchen, classrooms and a chapel that are being commissioned in tomorrow’s pass-out parade. More infrastructural developments are on the way, including the tarmaking of the drill square.
The institution has conducted many programmes for KWS uniformed personnel and other stake holders as well and to date, more than 106 courses have been conducted with well over 6,000 trainees graduating from the institution.
The school’s mandate is to implement the paramilitary training policy of the Kenya Wildlife Service and to assist in offering training to other stakeholders involved in wildlife conservation. These include county councils managing national reserves, private wildlife sanctuaries, the Kenya Forest Service and the Kenya Airports Authority.
To be a leading wildlife law enforcement training institution with a view to having highly professional, disciplined and efficient work force.
“To be a world leading and professional wildlife law enforcement training institution”
The school’s training wing is headed by a Chief Instructor and under him are course officers, faculty commanders and non commissioned instructors. These are the core instructors and are usually boosted by staff from the field who have been trained as instructors when the school has large numbers of trainees. Outside resource persons are usually incorporated in their areas of specialisation. Such persons are usually from within and outside KWS.
The school’s curriculum has expanded over the years, to embrace new subjects. While the list may not be exhaustive, the following are the current key areas of study;
- Foot and Arms Drills
- Field Craft and Minor Tactics
- Map Reading and Global Positioning System (GPS)
- Wildlife Studies
- Radio Communication and Signals
- First Aid and Hygiene
- Methods of Instructional Techniques (MOIT)
- Leadership and Man Management
- Liberal Studies
- HIV/AIDS Awareness
- Physical Training
- Ethics and Anti- Corruption
- Wildlife Act
- Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and General Law
- Counter Terrorism
Various courses for different cadres of trainees are offered, with varying durations depending on their training needs. Courses can also be tailor-made to meet the desired objectives by the user, which is normally done after needs assessment has been conducted. The school offers the following courses:
- Basic Recruits’ Course
- Refresher/Retraining Course
- Officers’ Induction Courses
- Platoon Commanders’ Course
- Basic Instructors’ Course
- Problem Animal Control Rangers’ Course
- Game Scouts’ Course
- Forest Guards’ Course
- Company Commanders’ Course
- Conversion Courses
- Fire management systems
- Basic Investigation Courses
- Basic Intelligence Courses
When the school was established, it was meant to offer bush/field training hence no permanent facilities such as classrooms were built. It was desirable at that time to conduct classes in make-shift bush shades so that trainees could get used to field conditions and hardships to prepare them well for the reality out there. However, due to various demandsand changing working conditions, the organisation has embarked on putting up modern and permanent facilities to meet the modern dynamic demands.
The location within Tsavo West National Park is ideal as it provides limitless training ground for practical lessons in field craft and maneuvers (basic combat skills), map reading/GPS.
In terms of accommodation, the school has permanent and semi- permanent barracks, which can accommodate up to 600 trainees, and construction of modern accommodation, is going on. The school has a number of tents for accommodation for excess trainees. The tents are also used in field exercises. A modern kitchen facility has just been completed to replace a temporary structure and plans are underway to construct a large modern mess for trainees to replace an existing semi-permanent structure. The school is lucky to be connected to the constant and fresh water supply from the natural Mzima Springs pipeline.
Other facilities include a parade ground with a pavilion mainly used for passing out parades, a recreational area with various pitches for various games and sports, several television sets connected to DSTVs and video entertainment is also provided for staff and trainees.
The school has a fully equipped clinic complete with a laboratory and qualified staff, a clinical officer, a nurse and a lab technician. It also has several electronic equipments which include computers. Officers use these facilities for instructional and administration purposes. However, internet is lacking because of unreliable connection facility although we are expecting to be connected soon on completion of the new safari card system.
The school has a temporary shooting range though not fully developed; it supports most shooting events in both rifle and pistols. However, plans are at advanced stages for the construction of a 1,000-metre international shooting range. The school is served by a two-kilometre well maintained all weather airstrip sufficient for day landing for most light aircrafts. All the school’s staff is housed in the compound, though at the moment, due to the recent increase of personnel, we are experiencing some congestion. However, this is being addressed and the construction of several staff houses begins soon.
Collaboration With Other Institutions
Over the years, the school has enjoyed warm and cordial working relationships with several other training institutions within and outside KWS. A case in point is our sister facility, the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute – Naivasha, where we run some training programmes jointly. Occasionally, we send trainees to the institute for wildlife studies and at times have lecturers coming to Manyani on temporary attachment.
Besides the KWSTI, Manyani Field Training School has over the years worked closely with the General Service Unit (GSU). The GSU is credited with having started the paramilitary training in KWS and contributed immensely to the setting of Manyani Field Training School. Up to now, we still get a lot of support from the GSU in terms of training and their staff on attachment.
The Administration Police Training College (APTC) Embakasi and the Kenya Police CID Training School are institutions we have shared a lot in terms of training.
The following instructor courses have been identified by the school and most instructors have already been trained as part of the efforts to build the school’s instructional capacity: -
- Basic Instructors Course
- Advanced Instructors Course
- Training of Trainers Course
- Middle Management Course
- Senior Management Course
- Managing the Training Function
- Physical Training Course
- Map Reading Course (GIS)
Proposed Infrastructural Development
The school is developing at a fast rate to meet the high demand. Several facilities are now under construction and will be soon. These include: -
- Permanent classrooms
- A modern library
- Permanent Barracks
- Kitchen facility
Other proposed facilities whose constructions will start soon include: -
- Parade ground
- Range ground
- Assault course facility
Oher improvements planned for the school include:-
- Provision of electric power
- Provision of sporting facilities
- Provision of audio- visual equipment
- Development of a curriculum for the school
Recent improvements that have taken place in the school include: -
- The recruitment and training of a 51-member KWS music band
- The provision of a fleet of four new vehicles --- a mini bus, a bus, a land cruiser and a lorry
Over the years, the school has perfected its training programmes to address the needs of the uniformed personnel such as instilling discipline and setting high standards of performance. Additionally, training is a continuous process and has to be undertaken all the time. Few training institutions engaged in paramilitary training are endowed with appropriate training ground like ours. This explains why other disciplined forces frequently use our training school.
Since the inception of the Field Training School, almost all uniformed personnel have attended a course here at one time or another. The success in our field operations by the Wildlife Protection Unit is largely attributed to their training in this school.
Constant feed back on our training is obtained from our wardens and areas of concern addressed in the refresher courses. We have been able to carry out several induction and conversion courses for the civilian staff being converted to uniformed staff. With preparations for ISO certification early next year in top gear, we hope to become a world class paramilitary training school.
As we prepare to have one organizational culture as a uniformed and disciplined service, the field training school will play a pivotal role in having such a culture in place and also ensuring the highest standards possible are attained and maintained.