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Digital radio technology for Kenya’s anti-poaching operations
Date Published: 16 Apr, 2014
Kenya’s war against poaching has been boosted by the acquisition of superior digital and solar radio communications technology.
The Euro 7 million project, which is funded by the French government, will be instrumental in facilitating Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) security operations through the upgrading of its current analogue network to a more robust and enhanced digital platform.
The new technology has additional capabilities such as GPS tracking, messaging and voice encryption. This is expected to greatly reduce maintenance costs and increase efficiency in communications. This will ultimately ensure timely and accurate responses to cases of human wildlife conflict, poaching and visitor security.
This follows the signing of the implementation contract between KWS and Ellipse Projects S.A.S, a French international engineering and contracting company, for the roll-out of the digital radio and solar power and back-up system project.
The project will be rolled out in the next three months in Tsavo, Southern (Nairobi, Amboseli) and Central Rift (Nakuru and Maasai Mara) Conservation areas.
This is a critical project that aims to assist KWS in the fight against poaching by the implementation of new technology for efficient and secure digital radio communication for security and conservation efforts.
Ag. KWS Director General, Mr William Kiprono, noted that the upgrading of the technology would assist in combating poaching as KWS officers would have the advantage of an enhanced, secure and efficient radio communication system. He, however, also challenged Ellipse Projects to ensure thorough training for KWS technical staff.
Mr Bruno Schambacher, the Vice President of Ellipse Projects S.A.S said that their solution was fool-proof and would deliver value to KWS in the discharge of its mandate. The signing ceremony was attended by Mr Ahmed Elnaggar, the Ellipse Managing Director and senior KWS officials.
Mr. Michael Otieno Odhiambo, the Head of Information and Communication Technology said that the new digital radio network would greatly evolve the radio communication strategy for KWS as an organization and enhance security and encryption models in the system, the solar power and backup solutions would be invaluable in remote areas with no grid power.
Mr Robert Muasya, the acting Deputy Director Security, noted that the project was expected to improve security and would reduce the risk of information being compromised. The gadgets will transmit voice and data meaning KWS officers will no longer rely on voice radio only, but also use data communications.