A United Nations meeting on wildlife trade recently posthumously honoured 13 Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers killed in the line of duty. They were awarded with the Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award at a ceremony during the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) conference at Bangkok, Thailand.
The award ceremony was held to honour the KWS rangers, and nine other recipients from around the world. Dr. Samuel Kasiki, the KWS Deputy Director in charge of Biodiversity, Research and Monitoring, received the award for the departed heroes.
This year’s recipients include
Monument to honour Kenyan rangers
d Mohamed Osman Abdi, Bernard Mwakio, Adan Sheikh Mohamed, Seneu Ole Narankaik, Daniel Njagi, Moses Lelesit, Gabriel Mghalu Malemba, Haron Kipyegon Langa, Koyati Parsaip, Bake Alio Adan, Florence Hadia Abae, Francis Otieno Ochieng, andDismas Kimtai. Miss Abae was the first KWS female ranger to be killed in the line of duty. She was killed alongside a male colleague while patrolling in one of the Taita ranches last March.
The firearms that were stolen from them were last month recovered buried in a bush at Kiziki area near Bombi village in Malindi County following a tip off from members of the public. Earlier engagements with local elders in Bangale village in Tana River County saw the surrender of the second rifle and an empty magazine in January 4, 2013.
In 2007, Mr Samson Ole Sisina a KWS ranger, who was killed while on an undercover operation against illegal game meat trade in Naivasha, was among eight other people previously honoured with the same Award for “fighting wildlife crime with diligence, professionalism, trust and integrity, and in remembrance of his ultimate sacrifice in protecting the wildlife of Kenya”.
The Bavin Award, named after a former chief of the law enforcement division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recognizes accomplishments in combating wildlife crime involving species protected under the CITES treaty. It is presented during the Conference of the Parties to deserving recipients across the globe. It is sponsored by the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), under the umbrella of Species Survival Network (SSN), an international coalition of over 80 non-governmental organizations.
Since 2005, the conservation fraternity in Kenya converges at KWS headquarters every December 16 to honour conservation heroes who died in the course of active duty.