The fourth day into this month’s Bunyala survey and a pleasant ceasefire on bird poisoning seems to be in place. But for a few outlying cases, I have been meeting with poachers that I know, neatly dressed and taking casual strolls around the villages and their poaching fields. For once their crude tools are downed. But they hapilly hopefully proclaim to me, ‘we are waiting for moonless times’, and the old moon should be gone come next week.
We have been wading through such marshy grounds -result of heavy rains-to get to raised grounds where poachers are still poisoning though at greatly reduced intensities at least in the meantime.
Poaching goes on in the fields behind these live protein reserves
Weather and climate specialists know the relation behind rainfall and the lunar cycle. I am informed that the rain falls heavily when there is no moon. To cut it all short, i missed the action, I am told! Birds, especially storks died by the thousands hardly a fortnight ago just before the moon was past its ‘New’ phase.
My assistant confirmed that the skies were filled by the abnormally large flocks of in-flying birds. A catch of two sacks per poacher seemed a reachable target to all the bird killers; women on the other hand got tenders to supply the wild bird meat to the villages and market places. Theirs was to eviscerate the dead birds, slow-roast them and prominently display them on traditional trays made from bamboo to entice buyers as they passed the neighbourhoods enroute to the market places. The neighbouring Sidundo and Nyadorera Markets provided the buying masses of the wild meat that quickly exhausted the meat supplies in minutes before the women made it back to the villages to replenish their supply from the poachers. Booming business it was! In fact this was facilitated by the dropped prices of the birds, 0.75 dollars per piece, down from 1.25 dollars a piece when the meat is prepared to this state.
I just had my lunch break today, during which a discussion on the source of furadan ensued. The poachers tell us that they no longer find the pesticide so easily. They claim to use a middle man who asks for commission on delivery of the poison. A lavishly monetary rewarding chain of transactrion to the middlemen t looks.
But there is also the case of the irrigation board ‘s furadan stock getting out to the poachers. my assistant then got hold of my phone to call a senior member at the irrigation board. Alas! Only the key to the store lies between us and the pesticide. The key is with the utmost authority personel but when he sends one of his junior staff members to the store then apparently there are individuals who know how precious the commodity is and sneak out some of it. I strongly believe that the same guys have created the middle link chain with the poachers to cover up their misdeeds and conceal their identity!The guy on phone has reffered us to someone else also in the board who should avail the pesticide to us next Monday. lets see how it goes.