Participants to the 8th Mara Day Celebrations in Mugumu, Mara Region, United Republic of Tanzania, 15th September 2019
The preparations for 9th Mara Day between senior officials from United Republic of Tanzania (URT) and Kenya and the 4th meeting was held on August 28th 2020 through virtual means. According the Lake Victoria Basin Commission—the regional coordinating organization and convener, the 4th preparatory meeting was held virtually due to the current wave of COVID-19.
The Meeting was attended by the Ministries responsible for East Africa Community (EAC) in Kenya and URT, representative from various institutions from URT, Representatives from County Government of Bomet (CGB) and County Government of Narok (CGN) from the Republic of Kenya, Representatives from collaborative partner WWF and Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC). The purpose of the meeting was to provide updates on the status of implementation of agreed upon actions from the 3rd meeting that was held on the 13th August 2020.
Opening the Meeting, the Executive Secretary of LVBC, Dr. Ali Said Matano commended participants for making to the meeting despite challenges occasioned by COVID-19. He observed that despite finance related challenges occasioned by COVID-19, he assured participants that LVBC is committed to coordinating preparations and celebrations of the 9th Mara Day.
The meeting deliberated on the tentative operating theme: “Conserved Mara Ecosystem – Our Shared Prosperity” in Swahili translated as “Ikolojia ya Mara iliyotunzwa - Ustawi wetu.” It also highlighted status of implementation of the previous action points and deliberated on the uniqueness of the 9th Mara Day.
In line with the foregoing, participants to the meeting considered the situation of the COVID – 19 pandemic and agreed that this year’s Mara Day will be celebrated virtually—in accordance with the protocols for prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in the host country—Republic of Kenya. However, the meeting further observed that physical activities such as tree planting and cleaning in Mara Basin will be held at national level.
Present to the preparation 9th Mara Day meeting were Julius Mwabu, from the Republic of Kenya while Mr. Mr. Abdillah Mataka from URT was a Rapporteur, coordinating teams from LVBC among others.
The 8th Mara Day was held in Mugumu, Mara Region in the United Republic of Tanzania from 14th-15th September 2019. The celebrations were preceded by presentation of seminar papers. It was guided by the theme: I, Mara River-Stand With Me.”
Recognizing the importance and challenges of the Mara ecosystem, the 10th Sectoral Council of Ministers for the Lake Victoria Basin, held in Kigali, Rwanda on 4th May 2012, declared every 15th September “Mara Day”, to coincide with the great migration of wildlife from Serengeti National Park in the United Republic of Tanzania to the Maasai-Mara National Game Reserve in the Republic of Kenya.
The Mara Day Celebrations are guided by three inter-woven objectives: to create awareness among key stakeholders of the importance of Mara River Basin and its resources; recognize and involve the contribution of different public and private actors in management of Mara River Resources and to promote public-private partnerships as a pathway towards sustainable management of Mara River Waters and biodiversity