THE 8th Mara Day kicked off yesterday in Mugumu Town of Serengeti District in Mara Region.
The event brought together key stakeholders working together to promote sustainable conservation in Mara River Basin. Mara Day is marked on a rotational basis by Tanzania and Kenya.
Mara Regional Commissioner (RC) Adam Malima launched the 2019 event at Sokoine grounds yesterday afternoon.
Speaking before the event, Serengeti District Commissioner (DC) Nurdin Babu told the 'Daily News' in Mugumu Town that several ministers and deputy ministers as well as permanent secretaries from both Tanzania and Kenya had confirmed to attend the event.
Serengeti District Council Chairman Juma Porini urged business people in Mugumu Town to utilise Mara Day.
"The event is an opportunity for Mugumu traders because of the number of guests from in and outside Tanzania," Mr Porini said.
Almost all standard hotels and guest houses were fully booked because of Mara Day, sources in Mugumu District said.
Mr Malima told a press conference in his office last week that the event would be held this month from Thursday to Sunday under the theme: "I, Mara River, stand with me."
Mara Day incorporates a different theme each year to campaign for the sustainable conservation of Mara River Basin.
The 10th Sectorial Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin held in Rwanda in May 2012 declared every September 15 to be "Mara Day”.
Apart from supporting wildlife conservation, Mara River is also a source of livelihoods to about 1.1 million Tanzanians and Kenyans.
Commemoration of the day coincides with the migration of wildebeest to and from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya.
Mara River starts in Mau forests in Kenya and flows through Maasai Mara Game Reserve and Serengeti National Park before emptying into Lake Victoria in Tanzania.
In April this year the level of water fell considerably in some areas with experts citing climate change and human activities as the major causes.