@ILabAfrica Launch WILD App to Reduce Poaching and Human Wildlife Conflict Incidences
Strathmore University @iLabAfrica Research Centre recently launched the WILD App at the Mara North Conservancy, part of the expansive Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
Through partnership with USAID, and other conservation agencies, @iLabAfrica formed an Anti-Poaching Partnership in March 2015 with the aim of reporting and consequently reducing poaching and Human Wildlife Conflict incidences.
@iLabAfrica was tasked with designing and developing a mobile application WILD (Wildlife Information Landscape Database). This also involved developing a backend to be used by Administrative officers.
The application collects data on poaching, Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC), animal mortality, community service and illegal human activity incidences and these reports are automatically geotagged, time stamped and transmitted to the headquarters. Officers can also take photos and transmit them to headquarters. The application has remote transmission capability.
Apart from the above capabilities, the application also has the ability to take climate readings and also keep a record of suspects which are handed over to the government for appropriate action. For each of the above records, the application captures the finer details.
The application is used by administrators, officers, field officers (scouts and rangers) and conflict officers.
To enable ease of reading for the officers who cannot read in English, the application has a Kiswahili version which is mostly used in Tanzania. The applications also uses icons to symbolize the most selected parameters making it friendly to the semi-illiterate field officers.
In case of an emergency issue e.g. poaching, the officers on patrol have the option of pressing the panic button that sends a distress signal to the main office. The main office can therefore ask for help.
The WILD application has offline recording capabilities allowing it to be used in areas with no or limited GSM network coverage.
@iLabAfrica is a Centre of Excellence in ICT innovation and Development set up in January 2011. It is an independent entity in the Faculty of Information Technology at Strathmore University. It was established to address the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to contribute toward Kenyas Vision 2030. The research center is involved in interdisciplinary research, student engagement, collaboration with government, industry and other funding agencies.