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Preparations in top gear for Mara Day celebrations in Mugumu town in Tanzania

Pomp and colour marked preparations for the 12th Mara Day celebrations in Mugumu, an outpost town in northern Tanzania near the Kenya border.

 

Mara Day celebrations are held on a rotational basis between Kenya and Tanzania, the two East African countries that share the Mara River. 

 

The river is the primary water source in the Maasai Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem and supports the economy of over 1 million people who live in the basin. The basin also boasts a rich diversity of mammals, birds and plants. 

 

On Wednesday, 13 September, the planting of over 800 indigenous tree seedlings kicked off preparations for Mara Day, whose commemoration is set for Friday. 

 

Tanzania’s Mara Provincial Commissioner, Bwana Saidi Mohammed Mtanda also led the country’s Government officials, local leaders, development partners and local communities in erecting beacons to demarcate the riparian land along the river.
 

WWF-Tanzania Freshwater Programmes Coordinator Christian Joseph Chonya said that the Mara River River remains critical in various aspects from supporting livelihoods to contributing to the economy of the two countries through tourist income from the globally iconic Maasai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park.

 

“Unfortunately, the river continues to decline due to catchment destruction and rising impacts of climate change. It is, therefore, critical that stakeholders in the basin come together to chart a way forward in conserving the river,” said Chonya.

 

Water users associations from Kenya and Tanzania also held their first meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to discuss the way forward for the sustainable management of the Mara River, from its catchment in the Mau Forest Complex to its mouth in Musoma, Lake Victoria. 

 

“Our biggest goal for being here today is to ensure that River Mara continues to flow for the benefit of our ecology, livelihoods, livestock and wildlife,” said Paul Rono - Secretary-General,  Mara Water Resource Users Association.

 

Ahead of Friday’s celebrations, stakeholders also participated in a Science Conference on Thursday, 14 September, to further discuss the various challenges facing the Mara river basin and possible innovative solutions for the sustainable management of the ecosystem.

 
Kenya and Tanzania kicked off activities in preparation for Mara Day celebrations. Stakeholders planted indigenous tree seedlings, demarcated riparian areas and held a Science Conference to discuss solutions to challenges facing the Mara River.
© WWF-Kenya
Kenya and Tanzania kicked off activities in preparation for Mara Day celebrations. Stakeholders planted indigenous tree seedlings, demarcated riparian areas and held a Science Conference to discuss solutions to challenges facing the Mara River.