Mara River Water Users Association

Organization Overview

About Mara Water River Users Association

Mara Ecosystem: Significant Water Tower & Home to
World Famous Mara Game Reserve

The Mara River Basin - An important source of water & other natural resources


Over the years, the quantity and quality of water in the Mara River have continued to deteriorate endangering livelihoods, businesses and biodiversity in the Mara River Basin. The reduction of the flows and quality of water is attributed to poor land use practices in the basin, deforestation, human encroachment into gazetted forests and climate change among others.

Prompted by potential for water conflicts that could arise from competition for the scarce water resources individuals living within the Mara Basin formed the Mara River Water Users Association in 2003. It was registered with the Registrar of societies in 2005.The Association covers Bomet and Narok Counties in Kenya.Mara basin has a population of approximately 1,200,000 people.

Ecological Zones

The Mara Basin covers the Mau Complex Forests which is a source of water for all the streams forming the Mara River. Immediately after the forest there are small scale farms which consist of small holdings of farm. The other ecological zone found in the basin are dry scrublands which mainly sustain large scale commercial agriculture and livestock rearing which is the main economic activities for the locals-the Maasai. The basin harbours the world famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

The main objectives of the Association.

Conflict resolution in water conflicts
Awareness creation on conservation
Spring protection
Water harvesting technologies
Promotion Energy saving technologies
Assist relevant government bodies in water allocation and permitting.
Promotion of income generating activities that promotes water resources management

Key Activities

Main activities/programs.
River bank protection
Spring protection
Soil and water conservation
Awareness creation in water resources management.
Advocacy in water resources management.


Winning the prestigious river prize award in 2013 in recognition of its effortsin management of water resources.
Funding from Water Resource Management Authority (WRMA) for capacity building in the
Water Development Cycle ( WDC )process Kshs 715,000 awaiting next release for the Amala
Sub-catchment Management Plan (SCMP) produced and Nyangores one to be done.

Formation of sub-WRUAs on the lower side of the basin in Talek, Mara which has always been a challenge to reach.

Successful completion of the WADA project which was funded to the tune of $45,000 for limited water and sanitation project.

Successful proposal submission to USAID for a similar project to the tune of $ 40,000 for the year 2011.

The Association won the prestigious Equator prize award 2010 and the International Riverprize 2013recognition for our efforts in conservation within the Mara basin.

The Association has so far been able to form 40 Catchment Management Groups (CMGs).
These are common interest groups spread within different zones within the basin who implement conservation activities in the local villages. Through these the Association has been able
to attend to various water resources management within the basin.

Within the seven years of existence the groups have grown from 15 in 2004, 27 in 2008 and currently 40. The populations within the basin vary thus numbers differ from village to village or community to community.

There has been some progress in the policy formulation for a trans-boundary water policy which the government is currently working on and this will anchor in to low guidelines to be followed in users managing trans-boundary water resources. This is as a result of the efforts in the formation of the Trans-boundary water forum.

This initiative is also being spearheaded by the Lake Victoria Basin Commission(LVBC )under the East Africa Community (EAC) in their Mara River Basin projects arising from recommendations from studies on EFA and BSAP spearheaded by WWF, GLOWS, FIU, and Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA).

WRUA Management Structure

Has a board of 17 members representing different areas and interests within the basin from the
three main tributaries: Amala, Nyangores and the main Mara.

• Registration is as per the categories and renewable every year: individuals- Kshs 100, Institutions- Kshs 1,500 and commercial interest- Kshs 3,000.

Key Partners of MRWUA

-Mara River Basin Community
-WWF- World Wide Fund for Nature

-NEMA- National Environmental Management Authority
-MOA- Ministry of Agriculture
-WRMA- Water Resources Management Authority
-Research organizations. (GLOWS, FIU)

Projects on the Hub

Projects in Primary Basins appear in Blue.

None Found

Basins of Interest

Primary Regions appear in Blue.

Lake Victoria

Overview: The Mara River Water Users Association (MRWUA) is a community-based water resources management organization. The primary objectives of MRWUA are to promote the protection and conservation of the Mara Catchment area, support the sustainable and efficient use of water, assist relevant authorities with water resources management and issuance of water use permits, and water conflict resolution. MRWUA is engaged in environmental education, has established tree nurseries at local schools, and gives particular attention to the socio-economic benefits of biodiversity conservation. The group offers demonstrations and trainings in water and soil conservation best practice. River banks (previously subject to erosion) are being protected through the innovative use of high-value fruit trees along ‘riparian buffer strips’.


Action Areas:
  • Land Use Issues
  • Upstream Water Issues
  • Water Demand and Competition among Users
Contact Info: Kenedy Onyango
Phone: +254 728 336090

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Quick Info

None Entered

Organization Type:
NGO / Civil Society