There has been a debate from time immemorial about the Seven Wonders of the World. The seven classical wonders of the ancient world were said to be the Great Pyramids of Giza – Egypt, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zues in Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in Turkey.
The new seven wonders of the modern world are said to be the Chichen Itza of Mexico, Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro, Great Wall of China, Machu Pichu of Peru, Petra of Jordan, Taj Mahal of India and Coliseum of Rome. But what is not debatable is the 8th wonder of the World, which happens every year on the vast plains of the Mara in Kenya and the Serengeti in Tanzania when thousands of wildebeest cross the Mara River in one of the most spectacular natural phenomenon a human eye can ever behold.
The Mara River Basin critical. The ecosystem is home to the world famous Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Maasai Mara-Serengeti is a World Heritage site and a Biosphere Reserve of global conservation significance.
I was greatly honoured to lead the delegation to the 4th Mara Day Celebrations in Butiama, Tanzania on September 15. Mara River is facing serious environmental problems primarily created from wide spread encroachment on protected forests and other fragile ecosystems for settlement and cultivation. These include, soil erosion, deforestation resulting from encroachment and human settlement, wildlife-human conflicts, declining water quality, pollution and increased flooding and droughts.
With Kenya being a water-scarce country with a per capita water availability below the global level of 1,000, it makes it even more urgent to act now rather than later.
The situation is aggravated by the weak and poorly enforced water related laws and regulations, and water resources management institutions with inadequate technical and financial capacity.
The just concluded Memorandum of Understanding for joint management of the Basin I signed in Tanzania is therefore critical. we must appreciate efforts made so far by the Government in addressing the Mau Forest restoration programme. We assured our neighbours of our commitment.
The Holy Father Pope Francis reminded us recently that if you sin against your fellow human beings some will forgive you some will not, but if you sin against nature she will never forgive you, and she will punish you and your children and the generations to come. Since we have sinned against nature by cutting down our trees, encroaching in our catchment areas and farming on river banks, and killing our wildlife let us ,remember to pray the old famous prayer that says “God give me the serenity to know the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference”.
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