Friday, July 23, 2010

New LVBC Research Fund for the Mara River Basin

Announced on 21 July, the LVBC has signed MOUs with three universities to facilitate applied research in the Basin. The selected universities are Ardhi University (Tanzania), Egerton University (Kenya) and Maseno University (Kenya). The purpose of the MOUs is to facilitate improved management of water resources within the basin by building on the previous work of the EFA and BSAP. Initial funding of $60,000 USD will be divided equally among the universities to facilitate the applied research of "wildlife and habitat conservation; conservation enterprise; and, capacity building and leadership".

This collaboration between LVBC and these universities is exciting news for those interested in further enhancing our capacity to effectively manage the Mara River Basin. In addition to LVBC's work, another collaborative effort exists between UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and four parter universities: University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Egerton University (Kenya), Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania), and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya). UNESCO-IHE is currently funding the research of 4 PhD students (3 at UNESCO-IHE, 1 at UDSM) with the objective of developing a better understanding of the relationships between flow regime, water quality, and aquatic ecosystems. GLOWS will be providing funding to facilitate further research by 8 additional MSc students selected from the partner institutions. GLOWS will be facilitating this work over the coming months.

You can find out more about the LVBC initiative on their website, and about the MaraFlows program at the UNESCO-IHE website. Congratulations to LVBC staff and supporters on this exciting and important work.

More Press for the Mara River Water User's Association

Mara community wins US$5,000 global award
Kenya’s Mara River Water User’s Association has won the Equator Prize (US$5,000), announced by the Equator Initiative 13th July 2010 in New York, USA. WWF has provided support for the establishment of the association since 2005. RV, Kenya. 22/07/2010

Local community prized for work in Mara river basin
Nairobi, Kenya – Last week in New York, the Mara River Water User’s Association (MRWUA) won the Equator Initiative Prize for promoting the protection and conservation of the Mara Catchment area and supporting the sustainable and efficient use of water. 

The association, which also assists relevant authorities with water resources management, issuance of water use permits and water conflict resolution, was one of the 25 winners selected out of nearly 300 finalists from 66 different countries for their work to reduce poverty through the conservation of biodiversity. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Masai Mara News Round-up

Maasai Mara has lost half its animals

The Maasai Mara has lost almost 60 per cent of its large animals, including lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards and rhinos, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme.

Proposed park fee increases threaten tourism recovery in Kenya

In a proposed staggered increase over the next two years, KWS announced they were seeking a low- and high-season entrance fee, ranging for category one parks between US$60 and US$90 a day, while some of the lesser-visited parks would continue to attract lower fees of US$50. However, under plans to rebrand some of the parks, these categories may also be revised in order to generate more income for those protected areas.

Stakeholders have also expressed concern over what such KWS increases may mean for parks managed by county councils, with an eye on the Masai Mara, which already charges at present US$80 per person, per day. One usually reliable source mentioned to this correspondent that the Narok county council has, behind closed doors, been toying with a US$100 charge, which if found correct – is expected to be tagged onto the KWS move very soon – may sharply increase the cost of safaris to Kenya. Charges in neighboring countries are still comparably lower, but other competitive disadvantages keep the cost of photographic safaris there high, too.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Congratulations to the Mara River Water User's Association

Congratulations is in order for the Mara River Water User's Association!  They have just been notified that they are one of the recipients of the Equator Prize.  They were selected in the top 25 winning initiatives from a total of over 300 nominations from 66 different countries!


Want more information?  Download the Mara River Water User's Association Information Brochure for 2010.  We picked this up from Kennedy during our visit to their office in Mulot two weeks ago.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Evaluation of Water Quality and Aquatic Ecosystem Health in the Mara River Basin

Beth McCartney just wrapped up a very nice evaluation of water quality and aquatic ecosystem health for the Mara River Basin as part of her Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies at Florida International University.  Download a copy of her thesis.  

The abstract:

Limited capacity and lack of urgency have left many regions of the Mara River Basin unstudied resulting in uncertainty and ambiguity when forming management strategies. Eutrophication, flow alteration, land use conversion, pathogens and suspended sediment are of concern throughout the region.

This study provides a better understanding of baseline conditions, river status and health, throughout the Basin using in-situ water chemistry parameters, nutrient analysis and macro invertebrate indicators, in coordination with a geographic information system. Additionally, visual assessments were conducted to note local users, immediate land-uses and riparian condition. Though
basin scale trends were generally not evident, some sites exhibited locally elevated parameter levels. The effects of local land-use and observed degradation were evident. Though pollution and poor ecosystem health do not appear to be widespread, the long-
term repercussions of land conversion, climate change and resource demands will warrant more consistent, in-depth monitoring of the system.

Amanda Subalusky, Doris Ombara and Beth McCartney

Thursday, July 15, 2010

No Water No Life Video from their Mara River Expedition

Allison Jones and No Water No Life have just released one of their videos from their Mara River Expedition.  You may remember how we accompanied them through part of the basin a few months ago.  Check it out below then continue on to their website to see all the other great work they are doing in different watersheds.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Mamas of Ol Chorro

Several of the Mamas of Ol Chorro singing at the commissioning of a protected spring and water tank at the Ol Chorro Secondary School in Mulot, Kenya.  This project was completed by the Mara River Water User's Association with funding through the Water and Development Alliance - TCCC and USAID.

Learn more about the Mara River Water User's Association by downloading their informational pamphlet.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Children of Chemaner

WWF-ESARPO hosted our Q3 meeting in the upper catchment of the Mara River Basin.  During our field visits, we stopped by and saw the work of WWF in Chemaner.  Here is a video of the Children of Chemaner.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mara River Flows Newsletter - June 2010

The June issue of the Mara River Flows Newsletter is NOW AVAILABLE.

Get updated on developments within the Mara River Basin over the last month by downloading a copy now.


Two Maasai children in Oletikut enjoying some freshly harvested honey.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Nathan Project Coordinator for the Trans-boundary Water for Biodiversity and Human Health in the Mara River Basin, Kenya and Tanzania.  Nathan officially relieves me of my position within the next few weeks as Amanda and I return to the United States to attend graduate school.  Karibu.

You will be hearing more on this soon....please join us in welcoming Nathan to the GLOWS team!

Posing next to a project sign in Kirindon, Kenya