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BJWDF IN THE NEWS

The Bill Jordan Wildlife Defense Fund, formerly Care for the Wild USA, had the pleasure of helping to build the new ranger station at Ithumba. The new headquarters - including office blocks, a vehicle workshop, an aircraft hangar, accomodation for rangers and a canteen - will enable the Kenya Wildlife Service to have a permanent presence at Ithumba. It is also hoped that the added security provided by the ranger's station will enable the area to re-open to tourists in the future. It was therefore fitting that the buildings were opened by the Honorable Marsden Madoka, Minister of State and Tourism in Kenya.

There will be future benefits from the establishment of the operational base at Ithumba, including the development of Southern Kitui National Reserve which borders Tsavo East National Park on the north-eastern boundary and covers an area of about 1,833 sq. km. The relationship with the neighbors to the north and to the east of the park will be strengthened as a result of regular interactions of the communities and the park personnel. The continuous presence of the Kenya Wildlife Service staff at Ithumba will undoubtedly create a market for farm produce for the communities bordering the park to the north. The Ithumba headquarters will also play a pivotal role in the future, linking tourism in the Coastal region with the northern circuits via Tsavo East National Park. Tourism development, particularly with the improvement of park roads, was initiated when Ithumba was built. The construction work was funded by Care for the Wild International along with Care for the Wild USA. In total, a road network of over 500 kilometers, mainly for patrols, but also potentionally suitable for viewing game has been established. Whatever these other benefits may be, Ithumba is already playing a major role in combating poaching in the Tsavo ecosystem.