Edward Ndiritu, Head of the Anti-Poaching Unit for the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and an integral part of NRT’s 9-1 and 9-2 Anti-Poaching Units, was announced as the first winner of the Tusk Trust Wildlife Ranger Award. The announcement was made at a ceremony to mark World Ranger Day on Friday 31st August in Lewa.
Over the years, Lewa has assisted NRT’s anti-poaching teams with crucial support through training, provision of technical expertise and in follow-up to cases of insecurity – most notably poaching, banditry and cattle rustling – across the community conservancies. In September 2014, the anti-poaching units were joined under one central command, and Edward now splits his time between the two organisations. Centralising security operations has enabled more coordinated rapid reaction to insecurity incidents in the conservancies, and allows NRT to take advantage of Lewa’s advanced technical resources, such as scent-detection dogs. It it has also been instrumental in gathering and sharing intelligence. The recent reduction in elephant poaching and overall improved security in the region is a result of the combined effort.
Edward was chosen for his “outstanding leadership and commitment in face of the escalating threat from poachers” and will travel to London in November to receive his award at the Tusk Conservation Awards.
Edward said on receiving his personal letter from Prince William:
“I would like to accept this award on behalf of my whole team. I recognise that it is not just my efforts that have made a difference – we have achieved this success thanks to the entire team’s dedication and hard work. I am thankful for everyone’s support and greatly humbled by this recognition. Thank you.”
Charlie Mayhew MBE, Tusk’s co-founder and CEO, said:
“Edward is an exceptional man, whose professionalism and dedication has earned him huge respect not only amongst his team but across the wider conservation community in Kenya. He is unquestionably the worthy winner of our first Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award.”
Mike Watson, Lewa’s CEO, expressed the entire Conservancy’s delight in this announcement:
“Leadership, commitment, integrity and a fierce sense of fairness are what stand out in Edward’s character on a daily basis. I am delighted that Edward has been recognised for the massive contribution he has made to Lewa and northern Kenya’s conservation and community livelihood development efforts. We are extremely proud that he is the first recipient of this prestigious award.”