On 15 September, the 11th Mara Day Celebrations were held at Olenguruone in Nakuru County, Kenya. The theme was ‘Towards Sustainable Management of Mara River Ecosystem’. Celebrations were aimed at acknowledging stakeholder collaboration and engagement in promoting integrated and sustainable conservation of the Mara Ecosystem.
The joint EAC/LVBC & GIZ project on Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) supported the organization of this event. The IWRM project is funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ. Its goal is to enhance the capacity of the East African Community Secretariat and the Lake Victoria Basin Commission in management of water resources within the East African Community.
The main objectives for the celebrations were:
- Creating awareness among stakeholders of the importance of Mara River Basin and its resources.
- Recognizing the contribution of different actors in the management of Mara River Basin.
- Promoting public-private partnerships to improve management of Mara’s water resources and biodiversity.
The Guest of honor was Dr. Kevit Desai, the Principal Secretary at the Kenyan Ministry of East African Community and Regional Development. The event was also graced by representatives from key ministries and agencies in Kenya such as the Ministry of East African Community and Regional Development, Ministry of Water, Sanitation and irrigation , Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Kenya Forestry service, National Environmental Management Authority as well as from the County Government of Nakuru, Water Resource Authority.
From Tanzania, the key ministries and agencies in attendance were Ministry of Water, Lake Victoria Basin Water Board, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of East Africa and Foreign affairs, Tanzania coffee growers, Vice President's Office and the Regional Commissioners from the Mara region.
Other development partners involved in the conservation of the Mara ecosystem are KfW, World Bank, European Union, AfDB, WWF, UNEP and NETFUND among others.