Tanzania: Aweso Opts for Mara River Protection

THE Minister for Water, Jumaa Aweso has called for continued protection of Mara River so as to foster sustainable conservation of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem and economic development.

The river forms integral part of Serengeti ecosystem and it has a significant contribution to the survival of the great wilde beest migration which remains one of the leading tourist attractions in Serengeti National Park.

Besides supporting wildlife conservation, the river which is shared by Tanzania and Kenya supports lives of more than 1.1 million people in both countries.

"Mara River protection is the responsibility of everyone. The protection starts with you, me and all of us," Mr Aweso underscored here on Wednesday.

The minister was speaking during the climax of the 10th Mara Day celebrations held at Tarime Teachers Training College (TTC) in Mara Region. He urged local communities living near the river basin to stop activities that could damage and pollute the river which flows into Lake Victoria on the Tanzania side.

"This will enhance availability of sufficient quality water for human, wildlife and livestock usage among other things," he said. "Water is life, water is development, water is everything," the minister emphasized.

He described Mara River basin as an imperative resource for sustainable conservation of the Serengeti ecology and economy. Thus, he instructed Mara regional leaders from the village level to cooperate with locals to conserve and protect the river basin by planting environmental friendly trees among others.

Mara Day is held on September 15 every year with different themes aimed at proming sustainable conservation of the transboundary River which is shared between Tanzania and Kenya.

The Transboundary River starts in the Mau forests on the Kenyan side and then flows through the Masai Mara Game Reserves and Serengeti National Park before emptying into Lake Victoria in Tanzania. 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".

Since then Tanzania and Kenya have been celebrating the day on a rotational basis but things changed last year during the 9th celebration where each country celebrated on its own due COVID-19 outbreak. The Mara Day celebrations coincide with the migration of the great wildebeest migration in the Northern fringes of the world-famous Serengeti National Park.

The theme of Mara Day this year was:" Conserve Mara River for Tourism and sustainable Economy".

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