On the 4th August 2003 East Africa Community (EAC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Wide Fund for Nature Eastern Africa Regional Programme Office (WWF EARPO) Nairobi in which it was agreed WWF-EARPO supports the EAC in programmes contributing to the vision of the Lake Victoria Development Programme and the established Lake Victoria Basin Commission. This is in line with the provisions of the East African Community Treaty, especially articles 111, 112 and 114; and protocol for sustainable development of Lake Victoria Basin particularly article articles 5, 6,7 and 18.
It is from this MoU that WWF-EARPO initiated Mara River Basin management Initiative (MRBMI) in 2003 to support implementation of protocol for sustainable development of Lake Victoria Basin and its shared vision and strategy planning document. It was intended to deal specifically with the main threats in t he basin that included: poor water quality, reduction of water levels/flows (quantity) and biodiversity degradation. These problems are resulted from deforestation; land degradation, increased high demands of water compared to its availability and week institutions among others
The programme approach in tackling the above issues was through a participatory process of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) within the transboundary framework of the East African Community (EAC); and within the national frameworks of the Government of Kenya and Government of Tanzania. The ultimate goal is to “Ensure good quality and adequate water supply from the Mara River for sustainable ecosystem functioning and basic human needs”.
The programme gets financial support from Norad, WWF Norway, USAID East Africa and BMZ German.