Officials in Tanzania have said the ongoing process to set up water allocation plan for Mara River will consider priority needs of water with involvement of all key stakeholders getting high consideration.

“The major aim is to involve stakeholders to make the water allocation plan sustainable, and in so doing allocation will consider priority needs,” Mr Diaz Ndomba from Mara Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) office said recently during the latest stakeholders meeting held in Tarime to deliberate on the Mara River water allocation plan.

The Assistant Acting Director for Water Department in the Ministry of Water, Ms Rosemary Rwebugisa said the Mara River water allocation plan will help them to establish the quality, quantity and priorities during water allocation.

“Mara River is one of the six catchments of Lake Victoria, and to us the water allocation plan in Mara River is very essential,” the official said.

She also said that the exercise must involve stakeholders in order to achieve the expected results.

On his part, Mr Novatty Kessy from World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) at Tanzania’s Mara River Basin Office said sustainable conservation of Mara River is imperative for both Tanzania and Kenya.

The Tanzania Mara River basin stakeholder’s workshop was made possible by WWF, which also implements various projects designed to promote conservation activities within the river basin.

The Mara River starts in the Mau forests on the Kenyan side, and flows through the Masai Mara Game Reserves and Serengeti National Park before emptying into Lake Victoria in Tanzania.

Apart from supporting wildlife conservation, Mara River is also a source of livelihood to around 1.1 million Tanzanians and Kenyans.

However, the river is reportedly facing numerous environmental challenges due to increased human activities on both sides (Tanzania and Kenya).

The challenges include deforestation and intensive farming activities, just to mention a few.