Serengeti Highway Plan NOT Scrapped Over Potential Threats to Wildlife (Updated)

The information in this article has now been contradicted; he highway has NOT been scrapped:

“The Serengeti road project has not been abandoned … we have just revised it. I don’t know where all this confusion comes from,” Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Ezekiel Maige told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“The project is still there without a shadow of a doubt. But the road will be unpaved, so there will be no tarmac road or highway traversing through the Serengeti National Park,” said Maige.

The Tanzanian government has scrapped plans to build a two-lane highway across the northern edge of Serengeti National Park, after scientists warned the plan could disrupt the migration routes for some of the park’s critical species, including zebra and wildebeest, and ultimately alter the entire ecosystem.

In a letter to the Paris-based World Heritage Center, Tanzania’s Department of Natural Resources and Tourism said the 50-kilometer stretch of unpaved road will “continue to be managed mainly for tourism and administrative purposes, as it is now.” According to an environmental impact study leaked earlier this year, the highway proposal would have attracted 400 vehicles per day by 2015 and more than 3,000 vehicles daily by 2035, limiting the migration route of 1.5 million animals, including the wildebeest and zebra that move from the southern Serengeti to Kenya’s Masai Mara reserve in search of water supplies. The government — which proposed the highway to link Tanzania to Uganda, Lake Victoria, and beyond — is now considering an alternative route to the south of the park.

Source: Yale Environment 360

It is encouraging that sanity has prevailed and that this highway will not be pushed through regardless of the environmental effects (as commonly happens in many developing countries).

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