, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 17 – The nationwide recruitment of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers kicked off on Monday morning at the City Stadium.
The two-week exercise will see 500 recruits join KWS and will among other things be deployed to deal with security, poaching and human wildlife conflict.
KWS Corporate Communications Manager Paul Udoto said that the recruitment will involve observers from the public, government agencies and non governmental organisations to ensure transparency.
“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,” he said.
He stated that the rangers employed would have to be people having commitment and should be able to work towards set goals with minimal supervision.
“Our people work in very remote parts of the country, some of the remotest parts having no power, telephone, water and other modern facilities. So this work requires people with commitment and determination. People who are willing to make a sacrifice for our natural resource which is giving us not just revenue but is also a source of pride for the nation,” he said.
The recruits are required to undergo an intensive six-month paramilitary training at the KWS Field Training School in Manyani before being posted to the field for park and security operations.
According to Mr Udoto, the curriculum at Manyani has been reviewed and broadened in response to emerging challenges of conservation in the 21st century.
He explained that the training will aim at preparing the rangers for the challenges ahead by inculcating values such as commitment to duty, courage and honesty besides other skills.
He said the training will form part of reform efforts driving the ongoing force of modernisation programme especially the use of technology in wildlife law enforcement and management.
A few minutes into the KWS recruitment exercise which started in the morning, quite a number of people failed to make the cut and were disqualified either because of their height or county of origin.
Capital News caught up with a few of them and they expressed disappointment for being bundled out of the exercise.
They termed the selection criteria as discriminatory saying it did not consider the circumstances under which they got their identification.
“It is not fair at all. If they wanted people to apply here in Nairobi, someone should have been told to come with the birth certificate, not the Identification Card,” said 22 year old Martin Kimani who was disqualified due to the issue of his county of origin as stated in his ID.
“They would have been fairer should the issue of the ID card have been set aside and even increase the intake number. I have tried getting these jobs for a very long time but I have not been successful,” said Edwin Were, another recruit who failed to make it.
They now want the government to relax the rules and regulations so as to reduce the prevalent unemployment rate in the country.
“I had come to try my luck but their rules and regulations have become so strict. The ID issue has let me down since it does not state that I have been born in Nairobi,” Mr Kimani stated.
The last recruitment of 400 rangers was conducted four years ago in December 2006 and the group graduated in July 2007.
This year’s recruitment is meant to address a shortfall in staff resulting from retirement and other factors and will deal with the emerging challenges in human wildlife conflict as well as poaching and trafficking in wildlife products.