Serengeti Highway unstoppable, authorities

by Feb 5, 2011Conservation Threats, Serengeti

The feasibility study for the proposed construction of the Arusha-Musoma highway has been completed and the project is ready for execution once funds have been raised.

The Regional manager for the Tanzania Roads Agency Mr Desdedit Kakoko revealed in Arusha that the consultancy firms which undertook the preliminary study have already submitted their reports: “The task was conducted by Ms Kyong-Dong of Korea and a local firm, Ms Ambicon,” said the regional TANROADS manager.

Serengeti Map

The proposed 500 kilometers’ road has been mapped from Mto-wa-mbu section of Monduli District, through Engaruka ward onto Engaresero via Lake Natron shores to Wasso and Loliondo then Kleins Corner in Serengeti Park, to Mugumu town and finally Musoma.

The project was scheduled to start early in 2012 despite ongoing global protests from environmental groups that are expressing concern that channeling commercial traffic flow into Tanzania’s flagship National Park would annihilate wildlife species.

Authorities here however have assured that the second feasibility study had taken into consideration all concerns and the project will be as environmentally friendly as possible thus green activists need not worry.

Speaking at the Regional Road Board Committee last week the Arusha Regional Commissioner, Mr Isidori Shirima said government leaders from the two regions of Arusha and Mara, with the three District Commissioners for Monduli, Ngorongoro and Serengeti had also met with the Tanzania National Parks officials and addressed the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.

“These were mostly pressure groups and green activists who were concerned with negative environment impacts that the road might cause, but the latest feasibility studies have taken into consideration such issues and even TANAPA who were earlier on worried of the project’s adverse effect on wildlife have now given it a green light,” stated the Regional Commissioner.

The Monduli District Commissioner, Mr Jowika Wilson Kasunga underscored the importance of the corridor saying the areas’ development highly depended on the proposed Arusha-Natron-Musoma road which should have already been underway were it not for some opposing forces with “personal interests!”

“It is high time we started steering the course of our own destination because foreign groups only act to serve their own interests it is us who should know what is good for us,” stated Mr Kasunga.

It is the Kleins corner junction of Serengeti National Park which is still worrying activists because the area is an animal passage mostly favored by elephants and once the road cuts through the Jumbo’s lives would be placed in danger due to passing trucks and buses.

Green activists were also not sure if it was a good idea to have heavy construction works taking placed in wildlife reserved areas. They have also been concerned with heavy traffic passing through Serengeti and parts of Ngorongoro wilderness.


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