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International conservation group donates special computers to Kenya
Date Published: 08 Nov, 2010
KWS Head Conventions, Biotechnology and Information Management, Mr James Njogu (Right) receives one of the computers from the sub-region officer MIKE, Mr Edison Nuwanyama. Looking on from left, Ms Alex Tumushabe, Finance and Administration, MIKE, KWS Head ICT, Mr Michael Odhiambo and KWS IT Manager, Mr Robinson Kagonia.
An international conservation group that monitors illegal killing of elephants has donated special computers equipped with the Management Information Systems (MIST) to be used in capturing and monitoring data to the Kenya Wildlife Service.
The computers donated for wildlife conservation and management by the Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) programme, will be distributed among the four MIKE conservation sites currently operating in the country, namely the Tsavo, Meru, Samburu/Laikipia and Elgon regions.
MIKE is part of the larger United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Fauna (CITES) and has several regional offices in Africa spanning over 30 countries.
Its main objective is to build institutional capacity for long term management of the elephant population and habitat.
The computers bought at a cost of US$4000, require low maintenance and energy to run. It is also dust and humidity resistant and can run on solar power making the work easier for the ICT department to support the machines.
Kenya, through KWS, being one of the countries implementing the MIKE programme, is already benefitting from a number of initiatives which include training of rangers, animal population surveys, conference facilitations and increased cross-border consultative forums.
Between March and July saw the training of 149 KWS officials by MIKE from the Tsavos, Meru and Samburu conservation regions.
Poaching for ivory in Kenya was the worst in 2009 since the ivory ban was first implemented in 1989. A total of 242 elephants were killed illegally last year.
In 1979, there were an estimated 1.3 million African elephants. Today, some 470,000 elephants remain in Africa today according to IUCN’s African Elephant Specialist Group.