Sweet Sugar fueling poaching along the Kenya-Somalia border

On 30th August, Kenya Wildlife Service officers on patrol arrested 3 poachers who were in possession of 30 kilograms of giraffe meat while on transit to Somalia. They were also connected to various deaths of giraffes around the Wajir-Garissa Counties border. Their arrest was made possible following a tip-off by community wildlife scouts from Sabuli Community Conservancy. 

The northern tip of the hirola range hosts one of the largest refugee camps in the wild and this comes with a myriad of challenges. The greatest challenge in the recent past has been ensuring wildlife safety in areas bordering the refugee camps. Antelopes and giraffes have been targeted by traders who trade bushmeat at cheaper prices compared to livestock meat. One of the key drivers of the bushmeat trade is sweet sugar. The traders bring sugar and milk powder from Somalia in exchange for bushmeat from the organized poachers in our region.  They use donkey carts, motorbikes and sometimes small cars to transport their merchandise across the Kenya-Somalia border.

Community conservancies scouts working in conservancies in Garissa and Wajir have been partnering under the North Eastern Wildlife Conservancies Association (NECA) to share information on poaching activities within their community areas to help connect the dots that lead to the arrest of poachers.

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