CONSERVATION

Past efforts to protect Bongo's breeding places

Bongo Surveillance Programme undertaken in 2007.

In Summary
  • During evaluation, it was noted that the Bongo initiatives had contributed significantly to conservation.
  • These included awareness creation and logistics.
A Mountain Bongo and her calf at the Bongo sanctuary in Mt Kenya.
A Mountain Bongo and her calf at the Bongo sanctuary in Mt Kenya.
Image: KWS

In 2007, Rhino Ark applied to the United Nations Development Programme for a grant to support the operations of the Bongo Surveillance Programme.

UNDP, through the Small Grants Programme, provided a $50,000 (Sh5.1 million) grant to support the continued operations of the surveillance for two years, from September 2007 to September 2009.

Disbursements were made in three tranches. The tranche one activities took place between October 2007 and April 2008.

Tranche two activities ran from May 2008 to April 2009, while tranche 3 three began in May 2009 and ended in November 2009.

During evaluation, it was noted that the Bongo initiatives had contributed significantly to conservation, including awareness creation and logistics. Ground and air surveillance had made a significant contribution to the programme's success.

The School WildlifeClubs/Bongo Wildlife Clubs were core entry points to the community, which enhanced the project's acceptance by communities bordering parks and forests in the Aberdares and Mt Kenya.

This was evident by the high community support accorded to the project through volunteering information and stopping illegal activities.

 

The project acquired surveillance equipment but they were inadequate. These included trap cameras, GPS and digital cameras. A proper operational base for the BSP team was found to be lacking for use when not in the field.

Information flow and reaction time between the BSP team and KWS was found to have been slow. Publicity materials, specifically large format posters and brochures, had a high impact on creating awareness.

Flyers, pamphlets and other reading materials were displayed in market centres and pubs where poachers were known to frequent. The evaluation report notes that this led to a change in attitude towards Bongo and wildlife conservation.

School clubs patrons were found to have inadequate knowledge on conservation as evidenced by their request to be trained.

One of the report's key recommendations was that there should be enhanced and continued future funding for the project. It recommended that school Bongo Clubs' activities should be expanded to other schools.