Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on June 15, 2016 received a donation of 26 pairs of gloves from Raabia Hawa, a conservationist and founder of Ulinzi Africa Foundation. The brief ceremony was held at the KWS headquarters in Nairobi and graced by KWS Director General Kitili Mbathi and Deputy Director in charge of Security William Singoei.
“The donation is a very good gesture from Raabia because in the mountain area, it is very cold and currently we have not provided them with anything to actually protect them from the cold”, Singoei said. “This gesture will go a long way in actually improving their delivering because now they will be able to put them on and even if it is very cold it will cushion them from the extreme cold weather.”
Ulinzi Africa Foundation is the first non-governmental organization in East Africa which deals with promoting the welfare and empowerment and facilitation of rangers as the first front in the fight against poaching and wildlife crime.
“I really believe that rangers are the first line of defence for wildlife and I don’t think they get enough support or attention”, said Ms Hawa. “With these gloves I thought it would be best to give them to KWS (for the rangers) because they work in very cold areas and also because they use automatic weapons.”
Hawa is also an Honorary Warden with the KWS.
This consignment is expected to help rangers working in Salient around the Aberdare National Park. Currently around 1750 rangers engaged in field operations are in need of protective gear such as gloves and heavy clothing to protect them from adverse weather conditions especially in Mount Kenya, Aberdare, Mt. Elgon, Shimba Hills and Nairobi National Park.
“Gloves will really help a lot because some areas are very cold and with those low temperatures and rangers are holding guns which are metallic and they can also get very cold,” Samuel Tokore, Chief Operations Officer KWS said. “So you are subjected to a cold implement then you need to get some warmth so you are able to work in the normal circumstances.”
All the personnel in the identified parks require gloves because they operate at night and those odd hours when temperatures are very low. About 800 rangers are in need of gloves.
Director General Kitili Mbathi receives hand gloves from Honorary Warden Raabia Hawa, while (From lt) Deputy Director Security William Singoei, Chief Operations Officer Samuel Tokore and a ranger watch.
KWS COO Samuel Tokore and a ranger show off the new hand gloves. They will be given to rangers working in parks affected by cold weather conditions
KWS COO Samuel Tokore try on the new gloves donated by Raabia Hawa of Ulinzi Africa Foundation