Michael Okidi – Public Communications
Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has reiterated the Kenya Government’s commitment to the preservation of the Mara basin as a source of livelihood to millions of people living in Kenya and Tanzania.
Mr Wamalwa said Kenya had put in place the necessary regulatory systems for the proper and sustainable management of its water towers as a demonstration of its firm commitment to sustainable environmental conservation.
Speaking at Bomet County stadium during celebrations to mark the 5th Mara Day celebrations, the Cabinet Secretary further reiterated Kenya’s commitment to honour a memorandum of understanding signed with the United Republic of Tanzania for the joint water towers management systems.
He appealed to communities living along the Mara basin to play a lead conservation role to minimize extinction dangers that may be posed the rich Mara basin ecosystem.
Mr Wamalwa, who was chief guest at this year’s celebrations, noted that uncontrolled human activity may lead to a degradation of the rich ecosystem, and called for inclusive efforts in ensuring its conservation.
Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto and his Narok counterpart Samuel Tunai, both pledged their County Governments’ commitment to protect the Mara basin as a source of livelihood for the local people and others living across the border in Tanzania.
Governor Rutto said that his County Government had already embarked on intensive tree planting which he said would continue as his administration aims at boosting its forest cover and general environmental conservation.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Council of Governors Chairman and Meru Governor Peter Munya, who reiterated the council’s commitment to conservation of the environment and preservation of the country’s water towers.
Governor Munya called for closer collaboration between the National Government and the devolved units in efforts to streamline water management systems in the country, noting that the existence of too many regional water management authorities may undermine the achievement of the country’s set goals.
East African Community (EAC) Integration Principal Secretary, Betty Maina, who also attended the celebrations, spoke of a working connection between proper environmental management and peace, noting that the absence of sound environmental conservation may lead to unnecessary conflicts.
The Mara Day celebrations are hosted rotationally every year by Kenya and Tanzania in a bid to raise awareness about the need for conservation of the Mara River and its basin.
It was a resolution of the EAC Council of Ministers who, at a sitting in Kigali, Rwanda, on 4th May 2012, made a decision to set aside September 15th every year as a special day to commemorate efforts at the conservation of the Mara River Basin.
The first celebrations that year were held at Mulot Town, on the border of Bomet and Narok counties, with Mugumo Township of Serengeti region in Tanzania, hosting the following year’s feat. Maasai mara University played host to the 2014 celebrations while last year’s event was held in Butiama, Tanzania.