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Deployment of NPR helps in stamping out poaching in West Pokot

Kenya Forest Service (KWS) has lauded the government’s initiative of deploying the National Police Reservists (NPR) in the region saying the move has extended some assistance towards eliminating poaching.

West Pokot County KWS game warden Wilson Ngoriareng told the County Implementation Coordination and Management Committee (NGD-CICMC) that though the NPR were deployed to combat banditry, they have come in handy because cases of poaching have been contained.

Ngoriareng observed that since the deployment of the NPR, no case of poaching has been witnessed, attributing the situation to presence of the NPR, who patrol along the border zones of the county, hence scaring away poachers.

“Any cases of poaching being reported are actually people taking advantage of elephants that fall in open gold mines but not through killings. However, our technology is smart because we monitor our elephants from even our phones and no one can escape with elephant tusks unnoticed,” said the warden.

He explained one of the elephants christened “Chepkemoi” now freely traverses between the West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties undisturbed because of the reduced banditry activities, since the deployment of police reservists.

“Chepkemoi- a lead elephant- now moves freely with her herd of 200 others from West Pokot to Elgeyo Marakwet comfortably thanks to the existing calm,” posed the game warden.

A team of 205 National Police Reservists (NPRs) were recruited recently and deployed within areas that used to have sporadic banditry attacks including zones that border Nasolot Game Reserve.

At the same time, Pokot South Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) David Bowen called for deployment of more NPRs, since the region only received one police reservist who has been requesting to be armed.

“We cannot arm him because he is alone and that is why we are appealing for additional reservists although currently my area is very calm for now,” stated the DCC, who attributed the calmness to the good work being done by other reservists in the neighbouring sub counties.

The NGD-CICMC meeting was chaired by West Pokot Sub County DCC Wycliffe Munanda at the County Commissioner’s boardroom.

By Richard Muhambe

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