02 March 2011

World Bank offers to help Tanzania building an alternative route to the (planned) Serengeti highway

update (03 March 2011): Germany has offered the government of Tanzania the option of financing a study on an alternative road connecting areas bordering the Serengeti National Park in the north without crossing through the park. [src.] Why don't the German government and the World Bank join forces?

That's what I call a great move - the often criticised World Bank just offered the Tanzanian government to help them financing an alternative (southern) route for the route that would otherwise cut through Serengeti National Park in the East African country. According to experts such highway through the northern part of the National Park would hinder the annual migration of some two million wildebeest and other wildlife. And stopping those herds from reaching their traditional dry-season feeding grounds, so the experts, would most probably lead to massive wildlife population crashes in the whole of Eastern Africa.

credits to http://www.savetheserengeti.org

Meanwhile Jakaya Kikwete, the Tanzanian President, has rejected any suggestions of any different routes, because only the planned 54km route through the Serengeti could ease transport problems facing poor communities surrounding the National Park. Let's hope that the Tanzanian government is clever enough to accept the help and agrees to build the southern route around Tanzania's tourism hotspot. I actually still don't understand why only  the "northern" route would the ease the transport problems and not the southern route. Can someone explain that to me?
The Serengeti is the most visited National Park in Tanzania, which tourism earnings jumped by 11.3 percent in 2010 to $1.28 billion. Think about that Mr Kikwete!
For more info about the Serengeti, the highway and initiatives against it please visit www.savetheserengeti.org!

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