Friday, April 23, 2010

Official Launch Speech

Here is the Kenya Minister for Forestry and Wildlife giving the launch speech...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Mara River Environmental Flows Assessment and Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan Launched!

The Environmental Flows Assessment Report (EFA) and the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP) were officially launched last evening at the Intercontinental Hotel here in Nairobi, Kenya.  Dignitaries present included the East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, The Tanzanian High Commissioner to Kenya, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, the Conservation Secretary from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, the Director of USAID/EA, the Executive Secretary from the Lake Victoria Basin Commission and the Director of Water Resources from Kenya.  The documents were officially launched in a speech by the Kenyan Minister for Forestry and Wildlife, the Honorable Dr. Noah Wekesa.

Also present at the event were officials from the Water Resources Management Authority, UNESCO-IHP, UNESCO-IHE, IUCN, WWF-ESARPO, Florida International University, CARE-Kenya, Mara Conservancy, Transmara County Council, Narok County Council, SIDA as well as other stakeholders and organizations working in the Mara River Basin.

Congratulations to all the hard work of WWF-ESARPO,  the Lake Victoria Basin Commission and all the other individuals and organizations that worked tirelessly on this document.

I will upload soft copies of the documents soon.  In the meantime, here is a video of Amanda presenting on the EFA and BSAP at the event.  The video begins just before she begins speaking specifically on the EFA.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"13 unlicensed lodges shut down in Mara"

From "Business Daily Africa":

The government has stopped 13 unlicensed hotels and lodges from operating in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in a clean-up exercise meant to boost the image of one of the country’s leading tourist attractions.

This follows an inspection of the reserve last month that established that 80 per cent of the 115 properties are licensed.

Thirteen were operating illegally while others are either being constructed or have been closed for renovation.

“These properties are denying the government revenue and tough action has to taken,” said Tourism minister Najib Balala as he presented the findings of the inspection team.

It was also established that poor governance by group ranches and conservancies, especially in land sub-divisions, had led to a high concentration of facilities in the Koiyiaka and Siana areas.

Most of the affected facilities were tented camps in Siana.

Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lungs of Steel

An elder from Kemgesi Village...he played this huge gourd for hours.  Eventually, he would hit the ground but wouldn't stop blowing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Protests in Narok over killing of taxi driver"


Business came to a stand still in Narok Town after taxi drivers staged demonstrations over the increasing cases of insecurity in the area. The protests come just days after a taxi driver was kidnapped and killed in the outskirts of the town. Taxi drivers decried insecurity saying they have of late become the target. In the last 2months, 3 taxi drivers have been killed in mysterious circumstances. Locals accuse police of not beefing up security at night when the attacks mostly happen. Police have launched 


Nick and Allison giving a helping hand...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mbalibali Picture

The picture painted onto the side of the rainwater harvesting tank at Mbalibali School.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Child in the Upper Catchment of the Mara River

This picture was taken by Paul Geemi, an Ogiek that we work with here in the Mara River Basin.  Geemi borrowed our camera a few months ago when he visited his birth village.  This is one of the pictures he brought back...the expression on the child's face captivates me.  

The Kemgesi Group

While we were in Mugumu for our quarterly meeting, CARE-Tanzania took us to one of the villages they have been assisting with water, sanitation and hygiene related activities under the Trans-boundary Water for Biodiversity and Human Health Project here in the Mara River Basin.

As we drove up to the small village of Kemgesi, we were surprised by the huge celebration awaiting us.

This video was taken by one of our visitors, Nick Silverman of Natural Systems Designs.  Nick has been visiting us in the Mara River Basin for the past few weeks just before he begins a PhD program at the University of Montana.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Girls of Mbalibali

As you all may or may not know, the organization we work for is called GLOWS - Global Water for Sustainability.  From the main GLOWS website:

GLOWS is a consortium financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) working to increase social, economic, and environmental benefits to people of the developing world through clean water, healthy aquatic ecosystems and sustainable water resources management.

We just returned from our quarterly meeting held in Mugumu, Tanzania.  The meeting was hosted by one of our partners, CARE-Tanzania, who has been working in the Serengeti District of Tanzania for several years with funding through GLOWS from USAID.  The first day of the meeting was held in the field and we were able to travel around to several of CARE's project sites.

At one of the sites we visited, the Mbalibali Primary School, CARE has recently completed a set of latrines and a rooftop water harvesting system. During our visit, some of the girls broke out in song as a show of thanks.

Here is a short video of the "Girls of Mbalibali".

Mara River Flows Newsletter - March 2010

Download your copy now and find out how the river is doing.  We also provide a recap of a very busy month with some exciting new developments within the basin.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Design Changes...

In case you haven't noticed, we have updated the design of the blog.  Let us know what you think in the comments.  We will continue working on it over the coming weeks.