KFS adopts canine security in enhancing forest protection

NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya Forest Service, in efforts to increase capacity in forest protection and conservation, has initiated the process of integrating canine security into her pre-existing human and technological security systems.

The service says the new measure will provide greater security capabilities to enable it to remain responsive to the ever-changing dynamics of security risks and threats facing the vast forest ecosystems in the country.

On Wednesday, two Forest Rangers, who have undergone a four-month training on dog handling, conducted a demonstration to the Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Julius Kamau at Karura forest station.

The dogs which the handlers demonstrated along with were also trained over the same period on; obedience, criminal/attack work, tracking, obstacle, and tunnel work, guardian duties, and explosive/ ammunition sniffing.

In his remarks, CCF Kamau noted that the complexity and ever-changing forest crimes threatening the conservation and protection of forest resources in the country have necessitated the Service to adopt strategies and interventions that will complement security efforts and address the challenges to ensure safeguarding and securing of forests in Kenya.

‘‘The canine capability and a well-trained team of handlers will enhance KFS capacity to scan and detect trespassers; and deter forest crimes with greater precision, accuracy, and with fewer distractions,’’ noted CCF Kamau.

Kamau tasked the ENCOM division to develop a strategy on areas where a Canine Unit would mitigate and adequately address security threats such as installations and forests prone to crime and violence, and also develop a strategic plan that would guide the Service to deepen resource mobilisation.

The CCF commended the two forest rangers, George Adero and Joel Omondi for demonstrating how the Service is capable of building capacity to adapt to the challenges that face forest resources and address the imminent dangers forest rangers undergo in their line of duty.