Barrick wins Govt applause as 12th Mara Day celebrations reach climax

By Lake Zone Watch Writer

Government has applauded Barrick North Mara Gold Mine’s concerted efforts in improving the provision of water services to communities in its neighbourhood, environmental conservation and its immense contribution to the country’s economic growth.

“I congratulate Barrick for what you’re doing to help the Ministry of Water and the government in general in improving water services to the people. Not only that, but you’re also playing a key role in environmental conservation and the country’s economic growth,” Deputy Minister for Water, Eng. Maryprisca Mahundi, said.

The Deputy Minister made the commendation on Friday when she visited the Barrick pavilion at the climax of the 12th Mara Day celebrations held at the Sokoine ground at Mugumu town in Serengeti district.

Barrick took part in the celebrations through its North Mara Gold Mine located at Nyamongo area in Tarime district. The mine is operated in partnership with the Tanzania government through Twiga Minerals Corporation.

The deputy minister urged Barrick North Mara to ensure that its mining activities do not cause pollution to water sources and the environment in general, for the benefit people living closer to the mine.

Earlier, the Barrick North Mara Gold Mine environmental officer, Samwel Ingram, told the deputy minister that the mine’s activities are conducted inside the Mara River basin, and hence, “we’re compelled to protect the water sources and the environment.”

On water services, Ingram said: “We adhere to acceptable standards as provided for by the law. We treat this water for our own use, and also distribute it to the surrounding villages.”

“On the other hand, Barrick North Mara is cooperating with the government through various authorities, including the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) and the Lake Victoria Basin Water Board in improving water services and environmental conservation,” he said.

Ingram added: “We also take an active role in cooperating with the government in the tree-planting campaign, apart from educating the public on the importance of protecting water sources and the environment.”

This year’s Mara Day Celebrations theme is “Conserving Mara River Basin for Biodiversity and Sustainable Economy.”

Mara Day is an annual event held on September 15, having different themes aimed at promoting sustainable conservation of the trans-boundary river shared between Tanzania and neighbouring Kenya.

The river originates from the Mau forests on the Kenyan side and then flows through Maasai Mara Game Reserve and Serengeti National Park before emptying into Lake Victoria in Tanzania.

The 10th Sectorial Council of Ministers for the Lake Victoria Basin held in Kigali, Rwanda in May 2012 declared every September 15 to be “Mara Day.” Since then Tanzania and Kenya have alternately been celebrating the day.

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