The Annual Mara Day celebrated every 15th of September shall be held in Tarime District, the United Republic of Tanzania. The celebration shall be guided by the theme: "Healthy Mara River for Sustainable Development," and it resonates with achieved milestone since the inception and adoption of 15th September as an annual Mara Day Celebration for the two Republics: United Republic of Tanzania and Republic of Kenya.
Mara Day was adopted by the 10th Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin held on 4th May 2012 in Kigali. The Ministerial Council made the decision to emphasize the importance of Mara ecosystem to economies and about 1000,000 people deriving livelihood from the shared mara ecosystem between Kenya and Tanzania.
The Council's decision aimed at reversing poor water quality, water overuse, predatory conversion of forests resources for short-term interests and destruction of upstream watershed.
Uniqueness of Mara Day Celebration centers on its coincidence with the Great Migration of wildlife from Serengereti National Park in the United Republic of Tanzania to Maasai Mara National Game Reserve of the Republic of Tanzania every September. Itself, the Great Migration is a worldwide fame based on such organized exodus of wildebeests to and from the two EAC neighboring countries.
A number of preparatory meetings bringing together technical teams from the two countries and Lake Victoria Basin Commission were held with view of marking 15th September as a day worthy of celebration, knowledge sharing and renewing commitments by multiple actors towards sustainable conservation of Mara River for sustainable development.
The Vice President of the Republic of Tanzania, H.E Samia Suhuhu Hassan will be the chief guest for the 6th Mara Day Celebration. The celebrations will be marked by exhibitions of good conservation practices, success stories, delivery of speeches among others.
LVBC plays a coordination role in processes and activities leading to the eventual celebrations. According to LVBC Executive Secretary, Dr. Ally-Said Matano, the 6th Mara Celebration reminds us the distance thus far LVBC and partners have covered by implementing the decision of the 10th Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin.
Reflecting the objectives set to guide the celebration of Mara Day Celebrations, LVBC Executive Secretary noted that Mara Day Celebrations moved beyond awareness raising to consolidating public-private partnership and maximizing sustainable conservation gains.
In retrospect, the objectives of Mara Day Celebration at its inception in 2012 were to create awareness among key stakeholders of the importance of Mara River Basin and its resources; to recognize the involve the contributions of different private and public sector in the management of Mara River Basin Resources, and to promote public and private partnerships to improve management of mara's water and biodiversity resources.
Consequently, Mara Day Celebration has achieved the following outcomes: Increased citizen awareness and participation (about 17,500 people); high level commitment & political will from the two Republics: Kenya & Tanzania to sustainably conserve Mara ecosystem--the lifeline of humans, wildebeests and flora; ownership of the Mara conservation processes and the future outcomes by multiple actors (state and non-states); joint Cooperation framework as evidenced by signed MoU between the two Republics and change in practices from illegal squatting, conversion of forest space for self-interests to conservation good practices .