BANDA SCHOOL ECOLOGY STUDY AT THE SANCTUARY

It is the first school to pay us a visit this year.The group had 35 pupils accompanied by their 3 teachers with the aim of learning. Everyone anticipated their visit thus we were well prepared. At around 9.30 am they arrived at the main gate and the ranger on duty showed them to the parking.

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Students arrive at the sanctuary

The rangers then led them to the Education center hall where they were given a brief welcome speech by Mrs. Esther who is the education officer at the sanctuary.She also introduced the rangers who were to help the students with their research so as to get them acquinted. She also introduced the Kenya Forest Service guards who were providing security.

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Pupils being briefed at the Education Centre

Among the day’s activities the students were to study the plantations in the forest and had to complete the following:(1) Abiotic factors (2) Human Impact (3) Bioderversity there was also a questionnaire to be filled and they also had to sample the diffrent types of plantations.When the Education officer had breifed them the students asked several questions to which the Education Officer answered the questions.She them showed them to the Banda where their teachers grouped them into a group of three to four pupils.

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Students put into groups at the Banda

Once they had all been grouped they then ventured into the forest led by the rangers and they were to find the following, the light intensity,temparature,wind deflection, and the soil texture.Students were also to collect insects,spiders and butterflies at their area of study.

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Students collect insects at their place of study

The rangers guided them by giving them the names of trees,shrubs, grass, birds and the animals they came across.They also showed them how to identify the human activities in the forest and this they showed them the footpaths, tree loggings, cow dung, hives, horse foot prints.The pupils then took a break to have some snacks. We then proceeded to the forest for the pupils to fill in the questionnaire that had been handeled over to them. For any questions they had the Education Officer and the Forest Rangers assisted them to fill in the questionnaire after we were done we then proceeded to have lunch.

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Students observing horse footsteps

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Pupils using the quadrants

The last exersise they had was sampling .They were in each group given a sampling took called quadrants.By 2.00pm we were done and the students headed back to their bus having had an educational day.

Story by Steve Kamotho

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