Watershed Moments in the Mara

New Beginnings in Transboundary Water Cooperation

Winding for nearly 14,000 kilometers, the Mara River is a vital source of life in Kenya and Tanzania. The river traverses the towering Mau Forest, wanders through tea plantations and growing settlements in the upper Basin, and waters the rangelands of Maasai pastoral communities. The river also sustains the region’s stunning biodiversity, from forest ecosystems to the wildebeests migrating between Serengeti National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Straddling the border between Kenya and Tanzania, the Mara River Basin might easily have been a point of international conflict. But instead, it’s becoming a model case study of approaches and tools that foster effective transboundary water cooperation.

 Join Gordon Mumbo, Team Leader for SWP’s Sustainable Water for the Mara Activity; Omari Mwinjaka, Water Resources Management Officer of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC); and John Parker, SWP Deputy Director, as they present groundbreaking, collaborative efforts in the Mara led by Kenyan and Tanzanian stakeholders to safeguard this critically important shared resource. Topics discussed will include transboundary water governance frameworks, water allocation planning, stakeholder participation and ownership, and on-the-ground implementation to improve water security. 


Gordon Mumbo is a dedicated and focused leader in promoting human-centered development programs in disadvantaged communities across Africa. He has over 20 years of experience in working for international organizations, including the UN, in senior management level positions. Before joining SWP, Mumbo worked as Africa Regional Director for Water for People, where he was instrumental in driving market-based approaches to development work in WASH.

Based in Kisumu, Kenya, Omari Mwinjaka coordinates water resources issues for the five East African Community (EAC) Partner States: Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. An experienced project manager, he has 14 years of experience in water resources management, climate change adaptation, water supply and sanitation. He has previously worked in Rwanda and Tanzania for the Nile Basin Initiative, as well as performed water-related consultancy work.

John Parker is a water resources management specialist and Senior Associate in Tetra Tech’s Environment and Natural Resources Sector. He has previously held various leadership roles with USAID/East Africa’s PREPARED Program, USAID/Honduras’ climate risk assessment in the Dry Corridor region, and a USAID transboundary watershed program in Central America. He has led research and published on topics related to water resources, food security and climate change adaptation, which help inform SWP’s integrated approach to addressing water security risks.