Funding the Mara River Expedition


For No Water No Life’s first blog, I am diving in with our project’s current challenge: EXPEDITION FUNDING! NWNL’s research, documentation and publications are based on its expeditions to North American and African case-study watersheds. By comparing approaches to freshwater issues and solutions in developed versus developing nations, NWNL distinguishes itself from most other organizations.

Mau Forest

THE MARA RIVER EXPEDITION: In mid-September, a “lean and mean” NWNL team will head to Kenya and Tanzania to follow the length of the Mara River for one month. An award-winning video photographer and I, as leader and still photographer, will film the devastatingly-low, polluted Mara River. We will document issues from its headwaters in Kenya’s deforested Mau Forest – a critical key to the famine now facing 10 million Kenyans – to its outlet on the polluted Tanzanian shores of Lake Victoria creating “dead zones.” (For details: Mara River Expedition ’09.)


WHY $$ NEEDED: NWNL is seeking the final funding needed for travel and production expenses . The expedition products to be covered by $4,000 we still need (can be tax-deductible) and the $15,000 we’ve already received will alert Kenyans, students and conservationists world-wide of the perils facing the Mara River today. The loss of the watershed’s wildlife due to low water will impact fiscal and political stability in the Horn of Africa, a “hot spot” for terrorism. Email me at alison at to discuss donation details.

PROJECT SUCCESSES! With images from 3 expeditions to Ethiopia’s Omo River, NWNL has joined in an international effort to halt upstream dams threatening .5 million stakeholders downstream. After 2 expeditions to the Columbia River Basin, NWNL has promoted US-Canadian trans-boundary research and partnerships. NWNL’s successes are being covered in magazines, its imagery is receiving awards, the project is receiving high praise for its lectures and exhibits.

MARA EXPEDITION SUPPORT: This will be NWNL’s 10th watershed expedition. This expedition has received:

  1. Expedition flags from The Explorers Club and WINGS WorldQuest
  2. Endorsements from International Rivers, Global Information Network, et al
  3. Several generous grants
  4. Hefty in-kind contributions, worth six times the cash raised.

Kenyan conservationists are anxious for NWNL to publicize the degradation of the Mara River, saying international awareness is essential to create an East African political will to protect this critical watershed.

NEXT!!  This expedition WILL happen. Tickets are booked for myself and the videographer – another Alison!   Stay tuned to read upcoming blogs about the Mara that illustrate global fresh-water values, threats and solutions being explored today!

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