Tanzania: Tarmac roads to link villages surrounding Serengeti Park

by Mar 4, 2011Conservation Threats, Serengeti

THE German government has accepted to finance construction of tarmac roads that will link dozens of rural villages adjacent to the Serengeti National Park (SENAPA).

This goes in line with construction of tarmac roads that will link the district headquarters with the cities of Arusha and Mwanza as well as Musoma municipality.

African Regional Manager for Frankfurt Zoological Society Mr Gelrald Bigurube confirmed the reports in an exclusive interview with this newspaper on Thursday.

“Linking rural villages in Serengeti and Loliondo districts with the their district headquarters is the best way of addressing economic needs of the communities living near the park”, Mr Bigurube said.

He disclosed that the German Federal Ministry for Development was ready to finance feasibility study of the rural roads in the districts if the idea will have blessings from the government of Tanzania.

Mr Bigurube said the envisaged Mto wa Mbu- Makutano Juu tarmac road that seeks to link residents of Mara and Arusha Region will not close the world famous park.

“Linking the district headquarters will also help to ease transport problems in these villages” explained Mr Bigurube. The German government, he said, was also ready to mobilize funds to finance construction of the rural roads after completion of the feasibility study.

A few weeks ago, President Jakaya Kikwete was quoted assuring the international community that his government cannot take any decision that may destroy SENAPA, describing it as a jewel of the nation.

But the President stressed the government is also determined to address economic challenges facing the poor communities residing in the northern Tanzania. Mr Bigurube said the international community was also determined to support the government in realising its goal of transforming the living conditions of the communities adjacent to the park.

“International community is also concerned with the needs of the people in an environmental friendly way but the road should not be close to the park because it will have serious impact that cannot be mitigated”, Mr Bigurube stressed.

The World Bank (WB) and the German government are also ready to finance south road that will link the Arusha Region with the Lake Zone Regions without crossing SENAPA, he said.