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Community rangers graduate from the KWS Law Enforcement Academy
Date Published: 15 May, 2013
A total of 68 community rangers recently became the latest batch of rangers to graduate from the KWS Law Enforcement Academy. The community rangers have for the last three months been trained at the academy by KWS in basic paramilitary procedures, management information systems (MIST), human wildlife conflict, enterprise development models, marketing of products and services, compensation claims and procedures as well as the KWS organizational structure and operations among other disciplines.
The training is an important part of KWS function under its community enterprise development programme to build capacity of landowners who host wildlife on their land to actively engage in sustainable wildlife conservation with the aim of realizing decent livelihoods from sound environmental management. The focus has been on practical wildlife management strategies, basic paramilitary training in order to standardize protocols of management, command structures and reporting procedures in these institutions.
KWS Director, Mr. William Kiprono who presided over the community rangers pass out parade, challenged the recruits to use the skills they had acquired during the three months intensive training to counter poaching cases across the country.
He warned that poachers have since gone hi-tech and are using sophisticated weaponry to advance their tactics. Mr. Kiprono further announced that the Service through the KWS Board Of Trustees in collaboration with the Kenya Police Service is in the process of requesting for the issuance of firearms to the community rangers in a bid to strengthen their capacity in handling poaching.
In improving the training capacity at the Law Enforcement Academy, the Director stated that the institution will soon be upgraded to the status of ‘Pan African Law Enforcement Academy” which will be able to offer international courses in wildlife conservation and security operations.
At the same time, the Director informed those present and the public that KWS has decentralized its operations and are in the process of posting Senior Wardens to take charge of various counties across the country. The Senior Wardens will be working closely with the County Governors to further enhance the conservation agenda.
In attendance during the pass-out parade were Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick of David Sheldrick Trust, Mr. Ole Makui representative of AWF, chairmen of conservancies, private ranches and community representatives.
The community rangers, who graduated were selected from various conservancies across the country such as the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Grevy’s Zebra Trust, the Northern Rangeland Trust, El Karama Ranch, Buffalo Springs, Bisinadi and Shaba National Reserve among others.
Apart from training more community rangers, KWS intends to undertake for the first time a conversion course for the conservancy managers in the next financial year.