Mara-Serengeti ecosystem stakeholders have resolved to strengthen their relationship in addressing threats facing the world famous ecosystem in a bid to preserve it for posterity.
Speaking Sunday after holding a two-day workshop at the Serena Hotel in the Maasai Mara game reserve, Narok county governor Samuel Tunai said the two game reserves share numerous resources like the great River Mara, where wildebeests migrate from the Tanzanian side to Kenyan side every year.
“We cannot negate the fact that the great Mara- Serengeti ecosystem success requires the inputs of the two governments to help in conserving the environment as we share common resources,” reiterated Tunai.
The workshop that ended today brought about key stakeholders from the Kenyan and Tanzania side who vowed to hold hands to ensure the great ecosystem continued bearing fruits even after the Coronavirus season that affected tourism greatly.
The governor observed the ecosystem was being threatened by the increasing number of poachers in the ecosystem, who mostly go unnoticed because of their unity and renewed formulas of poaching.
“We have realized that poachers from the Tanzania and Kenyan side are working together, hence they have become very successful in killing the wildlife, we too want to collaborate so that we can conserve the ecosystem for posterity,” said Tunai.
The county boss also pointed out that the increasing number of people around the game reserves was greatly threatening the ecosystem as it limited the free movement of animals.
“The increasing population of people living around the ecosystem has interfered with animal movement and increased human – Wild conflict. These are some of the challenges we want addressed soon,” he reiterated.
He however lauded communities living around the game reserve for putting up a big piece of land for conservancies to protect the wild animals.
“The Maasai Mara game reserve is 1510 kilometers square and the community has already put up another equivalent land for conservancies. The 19 percent of revenue generated from the Maasai Mara game reserve goes to the community as a token of appreciating them,” added the second term governor.
At the same time, Tunai reported that the meeting had agreed to have a joint rhino census because some Kenyan rhinos cross to the Tanzanian side and vice versa.
“The census will help us to account for our rhinos. We will be the first to tell our Tanzanians brothers that this rhino belongs to you. The purpose of the census will be to establish where the endangered animals are and give them the care they deserve,” he said.
The meeting was facilitated by the European Union who gave stakeholders the knowledge and information that will lead into getting amicable solutions on the challenges facing the sector.
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) director of Parks Charles Musyoki said they will continue collaborating with the two governments to ensure emerging threats facing the ecosystem were addressed appropriately.
By Ann Salaton