LVBC Executive Secretary addresses the masses during Mara Day Celebrations, Mugumu, URT, 15th September 2019
The Executive Secretary of Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) Dr. Ally Said Matano, emphasized the uniqueness of the 8th Mara Day Celebrations in Mugumu, United Republic of Tanzania on the 15th September 2019.
The Uniqueness emphasized by Dr. Ally Said Matano included wider stakeholders dialogue, marking the 8th Mara Day while reflecting on 20 years of East African Community integration agenda and conference presentations which developed resolutions.
Among resolutions from the conference are establishing sustainable Mara Conservation Fund, increasing awareness, strengthening Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and promoting knowledge management practices for sustainability of Mara River Basin. Also, developing and implementing sustainable and integrated land use management plans was one of the resolutions.
“It is expected that these resolutions once adopted by the 8th Mara Day can then be up-scaled to the EAC Council of Ministers for policy guidance,” LVBC Executive Secretary revealed during the celebrations at Sokoine Playground, in Mugumu, Seregenti District of Mara Region on 15th September 2019.
Delivering his statement to the attentive masses in their thousands LVBC Executive Secretaryu also underscored the significance of Mara River to livelihoods of over 1.1 million people and two famous global and regional sanctuaries – the Masai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park of Kenya and United Republic of Tanzania respectively.
“Mara River contributes 5% of the total drainage into Lake Victoria with a flow of 38 cubic meters/second compared with the other transboundary river Akagera which contributes 37% with a flow of 261 cubic metres,” Dr Matano stressed.
Presentations which preceded the celebrations also highlighted the significance of Mara River Basin, critical challenges and recommendations. The latter resulted into resolutions.
Kenya’s head of delegation, Hon. Ken Obura Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of East African Community and Regional Integration cited article 114 of the EAC Treaty, specifically emphasizing cooperation in joint management and sustainable utilization of natural resources within the EAC Partner States.
“Our presence for the second time in Mugumu is a testimony of our countries’ commitment and determination to pursue and fulfil a desired and shared goal: conservation of the Mara River Basin Ecosystem,” Hon. Ken Obura said.
Coordination of States and non-State actors towards sustainable development and poverty eradication within the Lake Victoria Basin falls within LVBC mandate.
Hon. Obura reiterated Kenya’s commitment towards protection and sustainable management of Mara River Basin and other trans-boundary natural resources.
He observed that sustainable management and protection of the two transboundary resources—Serengeti National Park and Masai Mara Game is not optional but mandatory for posterity and prosperity of the two sister EAC Partner States.
Narok Governor Samuel Tunai, pointed out the necessity of conserving Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park sustainably, noting that the theme of the 8th Mara Day: “I, Mara River—Stand with Me— is a clarion call that the future of the Mara Ecosystem is our Future. Sustaining this ecosystem means sustaining the bloodline of the Serengeti and Masai Mara.”
According to Dr. Hillary Barchok, the Governor of Bomet County, this year’s theme is quite significant in the identification of challenges, opportunities and threats in the Mara Basin Ecosystem.” The paper presentations of 14th September 2019 were in line with articulating challenges in Mara River Basin, available opportunities, threats and proposing workable recommendations.
Governor Barchok called for more concerted efforts in coming up with solutions responsive to threats facing Mara River Ecosystem.
Tanzanian Water Minister Prof. Makame Mbarawa, the Chief Guest for the 8th Mara Day commended LVBC for coordinating the preparatory process of the 8th Mara Day Celebrations. He reiterated Tanzanian commitments in ensuring Mara River and other biodiversity within its basin are sustainably managed.