By the end of the 1990s the infrastructure, equipment and roads in the Mara Triangle were absent or decayed. There were no operational vehicles, staff morale was extremely low, revenue was not being efficiently collected and poaching was out of control. The buildings situated at the Head Quarters at Iseiya, Oloololo Gate, and outposts of Purungat Bridge and Ngiro-Are had all the doors, windows and ceilings broken or collapsed. There was no running water nor functioning sanitation. The main road network which had been constructed in the 1980s had hardly been touched for many years. The main road between Oloololo Gate and Mara Serena had all but disappeared in places and was never used. The road along the river between Mara Serena and Purungat Bridge had not been used for years, as was the case with the roads to Ngiro-Are. There was no control on off-road driving, which had lead to a proliferation of tracks in the central part of the reserve.
Staff were often not paid for months at a time and only one third of the staff compliment was present at any one time, the remainder stayed at home for extended periods. There were several private sets of park entrance tickets and recognised revenue was approximately 20% of the potential for the Reserve. Only one third of the Mara Triangle was considered secure, with the remainder unvisited by security staff and tourists. In these areas poaching and illegal grazing were out of control, with thousands of animals being killed annually. Cattle theft along the escarpment was also a frequent occurrence.
THE WAY FORWARD FOR MARA TRIANGLE
In the year 2000 some of the local leaders became concerned about levels of mismanagement in the Mara Triangle, the North Western section of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. As a result the Mara Conservancy, a not-for-profit management company, was established to manage the Triangle on behalf of Trans-Mara County Council.
A five-year management agreement was signed on the 25th May 2001 and the Mara Conservancy started operations in the Mara Triangle on the 12th June. This created the first public/private sector partnership of its kind in the region and has led to an active and cooperative partnership between conservation professionals and the local Maasai community. It has also introduced an initiative to improve the conservation and overall management of one of the most visited and well known protected areas in the world.