Water for Sustainable Development
The event was conducted at Mkendo Primary School grounds and it involved different water resources stakeholders from different regions of Tanzania. There were business companies, suppliers, service providers, Government officials and awareness creation organizations.
Main activities at the WWF pavilion included demonstration of WWF initiatives on water resources conservation, creating awareness on environment and natural resources management to communities and other stakeholders.
‘The program is emphasizing that water resources management should be integrated with management of all other natural resources including Forest and Species’, says Mwasiti Rashid who coordinates WWF Tanzania's Freshwater Mara River Basin Management initiative.
She said WWF Staff learn from best practices and at the same time create awareness through direct demonstration from the pavilion by using banners, posters with WWF activities on water resources management, leaflets, books and brochures all shared with different stakeholders.
Keven Robert the freshwater program coordinator in Tanzania said as part of learning during the commemorations on the third week of March 2015, WWF staff attended the Mara Region water sector stakeholders’ forum where one of the agenda was on Mara river water pollution from artisanal miners.
The Tarime Council Chairperson was instructed to supervise the preparation and implementation of bylaws to address water pollution from small scale miners at Mrito, Kerende, Kewanja and Matongo Villages.
Lessons learnt during the event were among others the urban water users participated more compared to rural ones as most of the visitors were coming from urban and not from rural areas where most of the WWF projects are implemented.
The other was that most of the communities are aware on Climate Change and its effects but they need support and more awareness on climate change adaptations strategies.
Another thing noted was that some water users already have good plans on performing activities to sustain their livelihood but need support for example some visitors requested to be backed with beekeeping projects and energy saving stoves as alternative sources of income generation e.g. instead of small water projects or projects that need lots of waters; for irrigation etc.
At the pavilion WWF Tanzania staff conducted awareness activities in conjunction with partners like Mara Water Programme and Water User Association members from Tobora, Tigithe and Mara Sub catchments.
There are different interventions that have been implemented by WWF Tanzania Mara Water Programme which have contributed to a number of achievements such as increased income of the communities through establishment of the livelihood support projects such as bee keeping, fish keeping, poultry keeping, gardening and development of horticulture.
Others include strengthening of the river banks and protected water sources through planting of hydrophilic vegetation, building capacity of the community on Education for sustainable Development (ESD) and knowledge on the water resources management.
Awareness on Climate change mitigation and adaptation has also increased through capacity building and supporting activities such as tree planting.
At the end of the event WWF was presented with a certificate of contribution and participation by the guest of honor the vice president of Tanzania Hon. Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, who emphasized on the importance of the stakeholders’ involvement on the management of water resources.