Serengeti Road Saga

jeep driving past wildebeestAs I reported in a prior post, the Government of Tanzania intends to construct 452 km tarmac road linking Arusha and Mara regions.  The stretch is part of a road planned to link the Lake Victoria town of Musoma to the tourist city of Arusha.  The road would pass through the Rift Valley township of Mto wa Mbu, via the wildlife-rich Loliondo Game Area in northern Tanzania and over 50 kilometers will pass through the Serengeti National Park. The planned road is aimed at spearhead development in Lake Victoria region where tourism is growing and there is a need to transport both people and goods.  The President of United Republic of Tanzania reiterated the Government's intention to construct the road and "insisted that there was no way the government was going to abandon the road construction plan as suggested by some people, mainly wildlife and nature conservationists."   The Government, however, did agree that the section passing through the conservation area would be gravel, like other roads that run through the parks. As mentioned before, this is a tough one.  Tanzania certainly needs more economic development and infrastructure is critical for any country to grow.  However, impacting a crown jewel like the Serengeti seems like a misguided way to go.  While some groups are trying to stop the road others are working to redirect it to a tunnel, hoping to mitigate the environmental impact.  We'll continue to keep you updated as we learn more.
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