The USAID Kenya East Africa (USAID/KEA) Deputy Mission Director, Patrick J. Wilson gives a speech during the 7th Mara Day Celebrations, Kilgoris , Narok County, Kenya
The USAID Kenya East Africa (USAID/KEA) Deputy Mission Director, Patrick J. Wilson, commended Lake Victoria Basin Commission on effective coordination of different stakeholders throughout the preparations and celebrations of the 7th Mara Day held in Kilgoris, Narok County, Republic of Kenya, 15th September 2018.
“I am very happy to tell you that our partners have almost fully taken over the cost of prepararing and hosting today’s event [7th Mara Day], with coordination support from the Lake Victoria Basin Commission,” said Patrick J. Wilson
He expressed his appreciations for the commitment of LVBC to “working with local communities – listening to the people who live here in the Mara River Basin and depend on it for their livelihoods.”
He lauded the innovative public-private partnership model exemplified by the Mara-Serengeti Hoteliers Forum, noting such approach ensures sustainability of the achieved conservations successes in Mara River Basin.
According to USAID/KEA Deputy Mission Director, 7th Mara Day Celebrations provide opportunities for inspirations, learning from shared successes and shared challenges and drawing renewed strategies and tools for protecting the shared resources—Mara River Basin—an ecosystem shared between United Republic of Tanzania and Republic of Kenya.
“I hope each of us leaves here today charged with new ideas and tools for protecting the shared resources of the Mara River Basin and improving the lives of all who live here,” he said.
In the same event, the LVBC Executive Secretary, Dr. Ally Said Matano recounted the genesis of Mara Day Celebrations, achieved conservation milestones, the importance of the theme: “Upstream--downstream—Mara River Connects us all,” among others.
He reminded the animated audience that the “Great Mara River is a great asset, not only for Kenya and Tanzania but internationally.” He added, “the Great Mara River ecosystem is a home to over 1.2 million people and millions of wildlife—big and small.”
The Mara and Serengeti wildlife conservation attracts over USD 300 million in revenue annually.” He also alluded to the famous the August-September wildebeest migration as “a phenomenal sight, that is never seen anywhere in the world.”
However, LVBC Executive Secretary appealed to high level participants to the 7th Mara Day Celebrations to recommit towards saving the ailing Mara River Basin—upstream and down-stream. “What causes the ailing of this great gift from God?” Dr. Matano asked.
His prompt response was: “Human activities both upstream and downstream. A walk from the Naiuiyapui wetland, the source of Mara River down to the confluence on Amala and Nyangores River, down into the Mara Game Reserve through Serengeti and Kirumi wetlands…the picture is the same.”
The Mara Day Celebrations weas attended by dignitaries from the Tanzania, Republic of Kenya, Lake Victoria Basin Commission, development partners, conservation agencies, private sector, civil sector players, media among others.
The Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria (SECOM) held on 4th May 2012 in Kigali, Rwanda designated 15th September of each years as a culmination of celebrations for Mara Day. Last Mara Day Celebrations were held in Butiama, Tanzania. The central objective of Mara Day celebrations is to raise public awareness of environmental conservations in Mara River Basin.