Category Archives: Education and Awareness

Mwenja Speaks Out

Wanjiru Macharia, a marketing professional with a great interest in environmental conservation recently requested me to give an interview on my life, my career and my future career goals. I had worked with her four years ago at the East African Wildlife Society and she felt that by telling my inspirational story, many young people in Africa will be inspired to take my path or get more informed on the need to take personal action to protect our environment. The interview has been published in the internet by Baraza and other websites. Click here to read the interview in Baraza.

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Bushmeat education workshop ends in Tsavo

On 30th January, 2010 a training workshop organized for environmental educators in Tsavo ecosystem successfully concluded business after four days of an enriching training on bushmeat education, the first of its kind in East Africa. Seven educators were trained on the new methods in bushmeat education by a team of five facilitators from NMK, AFEW Giraffe center and ANAW. The environmental educators were drawn from KWS Tsavo West NP, Chyulu NP, KWS Taveta, Amara Conservation and Wildlife clubs.

Bushmeat education workshop participant Tsavo

Bushmeat education workshop participant Tsavo

To show how important this training was, two participants met their own cost of travel, food and accommodation. The workshop also benefited from contribution from a leading Bushmeat expert in the US who participated through Skype.

Jacob of Amara Conservation receiving 'Mizoga' film donated by Born free foundation

Jacob of Amara Conservation receiving 'Mizoga' film donated by Born free foundation

As part of the training, the educators and the facilitators conducted outreach in Kathekani secondary school and Nthunguni market that borders the Tsavo East National Park. The joint initiative left a huge impact in the school and the community.

Looking back at the enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by the facilitators and educators, I am now convinced that this training heralds a new beginning in the way bushmeat education is conducted in the Tsavo ecosystem. Apart from gaining knowledge and learning new skills, it was notable that new partnerships were formed and pledges to work together particularly on education outreach was made. This was a great outcome of the workshop and I am looking forward to see this in action.

I am very grateful to KWS TWNP management for provision of the training facility and allowing all participants to entry into the park for free during the entire training duration. Thanks to Education Warden Ms Malenya for helping with logistics and organizing an excellent outreach in Kathekani and Nthunguni.

Iregi Mwenja is a USFWS MENTOR Fellowship alumnus and a leading bushmeat expert in East Africa. This capacity building project is funded by USFWS Wildlife Without Borders Africa program

Education outreach in schools in Tsavo

On Thursday, I spent the better part of my afternoon with over a hundred students from the Bishop Njenga Secondary School in Challa Division outside Tsavo West National Park. I was there to raise awareness on the illegal Bushmeat trade.

On awareness rising, I showed a short film called ‘Mizoga’ – which directly translates to “carcasses”- that was written and Directed by the Born Free Foundation and presented T-shirts carrying Bushmeat messages to students and teachers.

The students, who expected to see the usual wildlife films from the Mara or Serengeti, were pleasantly surprised to see a film produced in Swahili and enacted in one of the villages around the Tsavo ecosystem. The educative film which sends the message through entertainment shows a village grappling with the effects of the illegal bushmeat trade through the thrills, drama and tragedy that surrounds this illegal activity. The photos of the attentive students below tell it all…

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Iregi Mwenja is a leading bushmeat expert in East Africa spearheading various conservation initiatives in Kenya.

 


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Taveta community alternative livelihoods training workshop

I am implementing a conservation and alternative livelihoods project that is aimed at eliminating the growing illegal commercial bushmeat trade in Taveta. Bushmeat, popular known as ‘katia katia’ swahili for chops is commonly sold in villages by poachers who hunt in the nearby Tsavo West National Park and Ziwani Estate. Studies have shown that the problem is caused by two main drivers; poverty and food insecurity (lack of access to protein).

My project has three strategies of fighting this menace;

  • Alternative protein and livelihood promotion mainly fish farming and chicken production
  • Capacity building for community CBOs through training and material and technical support
  • Awareness raising using locally acceptable outreach strategies like drama, film shows and talks in schools

This week we are conducting a training workshop aimed at equipping the community with fish farming skill, small business enterprises management skills and organization capacity strengthening.

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Iregi Mwenja is a leading bushmeat expert in eats Africa


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