Germany pays for study of alternate highway route around the Serengeti


(Posted 14th June 2014)

Growing international pressure on the Tanzanian government, which in recent months kept piling up over the abysmal track record in stopping the alarming poaching crisis and a series of planned projects affecting protected areas, may have led to a change of heart among the powers that be, when news broke yesterday that a German funded study is now going underway to establish the feasibility of a Southern route around the Serengeti, in lieu of the highway across it.

Wildlife experts and environmentalists have painted a gloomy picture should the highway, even if not paved, is built across the main migration routes, predicting that the big herds of wildebeest and zebras may be decimated by disruptions caused by traffic and their inability to reach their seasonal grazing grounds across the border in Kenya’s Masai Mara. For long was the suggestion of a Southern route, which incidentally reaches a great multiple of population figures compared with the present plans, which would primarily benefit the big money mining interests, turned down as not relevant and not wanted, even though financing offers from the World Bank and the German government had been made should the proposal be considered and the present highway plans be dropped.

The outcome of the study will not likely be known before mid to late 2015 and it is hoped that in the meantime the Tanzanian government will halt any plans to advance any road works into the Serengeti.

The cost of the study could not be established due to the short time available since the information came to light but will be entirely underwritten by the German government.

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