Tanzania: RC Pushes for Protection of Mara Ecosystem

MARA Regional Commissioner (RC) Adam Malima has called for the conservation and protection of Mara River Basin shared by Tanzania and Kenya.

The RC made the appeal on Saturday during the launch of the 9th Mara Day at Mama Maria Nyerere Grounds in Butiama at the weekend.

"Our presence should remind us of the importance of protecting this ecology," Mr Malima noted.

Key conservation stakeholders include Lake Victoria Basin Water Board (LVBWB), Serengeti National Park (Senapa), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI), just to mention a few.

District councils and local communities from across the region are attending the commemoration today.

Besides conservation issues, the showcasing of modern farming technologies is given priority during the celebration. Mr Malima urges farmers in the region to apply best farming methods.

"We want to boost our production and income by practising best farming methods. We want Mara Region to have achievements through best farming practices," Mr Malima said.

The theme of Mara Day this year is: 'Conserved Mara River Ecosystem - Our Shared Property'.

Tanzanian and Kenya will mark Mara Day on September 15 on a rotational basis with different themes designed to promote sustainable conservation of Mara River Basin.

Last year, Tanzania hosted Mara Day in Mugumu under the theme: 'I Mara River, Stands with Me'.

Thus, this year it was the duty of Kenya to host Mara Day, but each country will be marking on its own land due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) coordinates celebrations on both sides with Mara River conservation stakeholders expected to have a joint online meeting to deliberate on river basin conservation matters on Monday.

"The 9th Mara Day this year will be commemorated in different ways due to Covid-19. The commemoration will be held in each country in consideration with instructions from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children from each country and instructions by the World Health Organisation (WHO)," LVCB Executive Secretary, Dr Ally- Said Matano, said in a media statement last week.

The commemoration of Mara Day goes hand in hand with activities like a tree planting campaign in areas around Mara River Basin in response to deforestation threatening the ecology of Mara River Basin on both sides.

The trans-boundary river starts in Mau Forest in Kenya and then flows through Maasai Mara Game Reserve and Serengeti National Park before emptying into Lake Victoria in Tanzania.

Mara Day coincides with the Great Wildebeest Migration in the northern fringes of the world-famous Serengeti National Park.

Apart from supporting wildlife conservation, Mara River Basin is a source of livelihoods for about 1.1 million Tanzanians and Kenyans.

The 10th sectorial council of ministers for Lake Victoria Basin held in the Rwandan capital Kigali in May 2012 declared every September 15 to be 'Mara Day'.

The commemoration of Mara Day also helps to enhance the relationship between the two East African sister countries, thanks to LVBC and all other partners, including both governments who have been always making the event possible.

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