Kenya Wildlife Service graduates fresh class from its Law Enforcement Academy

IFAW E. Africa Director James Isiche addressing the passing out parade of the KWS Law Enforcement Academy.

A second group of ten community game rangers sponsored by IFAW to train at the Kenya Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Academy (LEA) graduated on 3rd July 2014. Dressed in immaculate matching green uniforms, berets and shining black boots, the rangers proudly matched in unison and saluted guests at the dais during their pass out parade.

The first group of ten rangers graduated in 2013 bringing to 20 the total number of rangers sponsored by IFAW at the LEA.

The community game rangers have been at the Academy since April where they acquired skills in amongst others bush craft, first aid, and wildlife management. These skills will assist them in conducting their community game ranger jobs more professionally.

Nangida Seremon with his Best-in-Leadership Award.One of the IFAW-sponsored scouts Langida Ole Seremo did IFAW proud when he received the overall award for best in leadership. “I’m very happy to receive this award,” he beamed as he proudly displayed his trophy.

Langida was leader of the 78 community ranger trainees for the 3 months they were stationed at LEA. Langida added:

“The trainings have been good and have given me the mental and physical stamina needed. I have now become skilled in my craft. When I go back [to my community] I will teach them all I have learnt.”

 

Kenya Wildlife Service Deputy Director for Devolution and Community Service Mr. Benjamin Kavu who was the Chief Guest noted

“The graduates are an addition to the already trained personnel that we have on the ground especially now that we are facing a tough war against poaching. These boots on the ground will help us conquer this war.”

 

He thanked the parents and family members of the graduates for the sacrifice they had made to have their loved ones away from home in service to the country and to wildlife.

Addressing the graduates IFAW East Africa Regional Director James Isiche stated: “The job of a ranger as any other law enforcement officer is tough. However you have been well equipped to handle any challenges and I wish you well.”

He also congratulated the instructors and Commandant of the Law Enforcement Academy (LEA) for the work put in to ensure that the graduates were well prepared for the task ahead of them.  

The Minister of Tourism from the county of Elgeyo Marakwet Ms. Anne Kibosia was pleased with the commitment shown by KWS and partners in supporting the training of community rangers.

“On behalf of the conservancies whose community game rangers are graduating today,

I thank KWS for the work they are doing.

We see hope for all wildlife – elephants especially – when we see graduates like these,” she noted.

The CEO of the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA) Dickson Kaelo noted that a lot had changed in conservation since he last attended a graduation of community game rangers in the 1990s.

“The land and habitat has changed and the poachers have become sophisticated. Then there were only 10 conservancies and today there are 140 conservancies. The dynamics of running a conservancy are complex as they include dealing with community members which requires negotiation skills,” he observed. 

 

Graduates take part in the KWS LEA passing out parade.

He thanked KWS for encouraging the growth of conservation and consequently private investors who invest in the conservancies. He also acknowledged that the first batch of 22 community rangers from Koyaki, Lemek and Olchorro-Oirua conservancies trained at the KWS Law Enforcement Academy were sponsored by IFAW.

The 78 graduate rangers were drawn from various conservancies and ranches in 6 counties. IFAW has committed to train ten community game rangers each year from the Olglulului/Olalarashi Group Ranch.

--JN

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