The first major recruitment campaign for 4 years got underway today in Nairobi. The Kenya Wildlife Service has started it’s recruitment campaign for 500 new recruits to train as wildlife rangers. Over the next two weeks thousands of people will undergo tests and physicals to gain one of the coveted roles with the service. Once trained the rangers will take on the responsibility of dealing with a range of issues including poaching, security and human-animal conflicts.
The recruitment process though will not just involve personal from the Kenya Wildlife Service. There will also be observers from government departments and NGO organisations to ensure that the recruitment process is fair and transparent. KWS Corporate Communications Manager Paul Udoto said, “Honesty is a very crucial area in terms of how we are recruiting and that is why we are insisting on getting a certificate of good conduct. We are giving them the next couple of weeks to be able to get certificates of good conduct before they report to Manyani.”
[pullquote]The Kenya Wildlife Services is going through a restructuring programme itself at the moment as it seeks to modernise and bring it’s wildlife conservation programme in to the 21st Century.[/pullquote]The successful recruits will under go a 6 month paramilitary style training at the KWS Field Training School at Manyani. The school has benefited from a major investment programme with aims to make it a regional centre of excellence for wildlife law enforcement. The curriculum for the school has also received a make over as it attempts to deal with new issues and techniques – such as electronic surveillance - that are arising. As well as field crafts the curriculum also aims to build up would be rangers personal characteristics such as honesty, courage and commitment to duty.
Rangers at the KWS need to have strong character as they will be working in some of the most remote and wild conditions in Africa. The recruiters are on the look out for people who have commitment and are prepared to endure hardships to protect the wildlife that has become synonymous with Kenya. the rangers need to be prepared to work and be posted into conditions where there is limited contact with other, no power, telephone , water or other modern conveniences. They also need to be able to work in small teams effectively with little or no supervision.
The Kenya Wildlife Services is going through a restructuring programme itself at the moment as it seeks to modernise and bring it’s wildlife conservation programme in to the 21st Century. They have declared 2011 as the year for making communities release how important they are as partners in the conservation of wildlife. With this in mind the KWS is making grants available to support wildlife related community business ventures through it’s Enterprise Fund.
The Kenya Wildlife Service rangers have a great history of protecting wildlife and are a service that the country can justly be proud of. There’s no reason to doubt that this new batch of rangers will continue to uphold the very best traditions and standards that the rangers have become known for.