Kenya: Mara River Water Levels Rise After Mau Forest Revival

15 September 2020

Conservation of the Mau forest complex has led to increased water levels in the Mara River.

Delegates from Kenya and Tanzania attending the Mara Day celebrations hosted by Bomet County said there is need to sustain efforts to conserve the Mara Basin, a regional resource.

The river empties its water to Lake Victoria.

The government started the rehabilitation of the Mau forest complex by evicting more than 60,000 settlers and planting trees.

"There is need for conservation upstream with planting of environmentally-friendly trees along rivers and springs so as to curb pressure on underground water," said Bomet Governor Dr Hillary Barchok during the celebrations at Mara Serena in Maasai Mara.

Bomet County has rolled out a tree-planting initiative to raise forest cover to more than 12 per cent.

East African Community Principal Secretary Dr Gevid Desai said the Kenya government is enlisting support of all development partners in conservation efforts.

"We encourage participation of partners all over the world to sustain the conservation of the basin which is known for yearly migration of tens of thousands of wildbeest from Kenya to Tanzania," said Dr Desai

Dr Ali Matano, the executive secretary of the Lake Victoria Basi Commission Secretariat under the East African Community, said residents of Kenya and Tanzania have taken over conservation of the Mara River Basin following a series of sensitisation initiatives.

"Existing framework between Kenya and Tanzania to manage the Mara Basin ecosystem is being implemented in what has elevated the issue from politics to a matter of life and death of wildlife, aquatic and humans whose lives is dependent on the basin," said Dr Matano.

Narok Governor Samwel Tunai said there is need for all stakeholders, including corporate institutions, to play a role in conservation of the Mara Basin.

"Narok County has allocated resources towards the conservation efforts, with communities having been brought on board to ensure policies are implemented," said Mr Tunai.

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