Serengeti Road project stopped

2011-06-24 10:23

Nairobi - The proposed Serengeti Road project has been cancelled in what is seen as a victory for environmentalists.

The Tanzanian government has announced that it has cancelled the project that activists said would cut through a portion of the Serengeti National Park, severing a migration route for wildebeest, other antelope and zebra.

"The State Party confirms that the proposed road will not dissect the Serengeti National Park and therefore will not affect the migration and conservation values of the Property," the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism said in a statement.

This could have had a devastating impact on the ecosystem.

The seasonal migration of 1.5 million wildebeest and other species is called the Great Migration and provides a boon to tourism in the area.

Devastating impact

Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete had planned to build a road through the park, amid much opposition from environmentalists and scientists.

They argued that the road would have a devastating impact on wildlife, with results that may include threatened species like rhinos being hit by vehicles, invasive plants being brought into the area and as fences go up, migration routes being blocked.

"The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the wonders of the planet," said Anne Pusey, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University. "It must be preserved."

The Serengeti supports an economic ecosystem, attracting 100 000 tourists every year.

  • ma van twee - 2011-06-24 10:32

    Wonderful news. Enough destruction in Africa already.

      Boer - 2012-06-23 00:05

      Awesome news. Sometimes what people percieve as progress are not progress.

  • Natand - 2011-06-24 10:32

    So glad to hear this!

  • Colin - 2011-06-24 10:34

    A victory for only this moment folks ! Be very aware that the forces that stand to benefit from this construction are very familiar with the intangible traction of African governments and await within the wings for a better shot at this contract. We have monitoring in place to ensure the whistle will be blown long & hard should they return.

      grease.monkey.001 - 2011-06-24 13:26

      Exactly what we need! Somebody keeping watch to avoid this issue coming up again, in the future when supposedly ''nobody is watching''.

  • Sick&tired - 2011-06-24 10:41

    Wonderful news. Thank you!!!!!

  • Denise - 2011-06-24 10:41

    YESSSS! Sanity prevails somewhere in this looney world!

  • YasButIDunno - 2011-06-24 10:45

    A great victory for sure, but a pity that President Jakaya Kikwete didn't have the intelligence to see what damage would be done in the first place.

      Mr.Faice - 2011-06-24 10:51

      Small bribe to open up investigations into the project and the larger one on project completion. Nah we must not be so cynical, this is great great news!!

  • siren703 - 2011-06-24 10:54

    good on them for realising how selfish human decisions often impact on the environment especially animals. well done on considering your actions and making an informed decision.

  • 420 - 2011-06-24 11:09

    And this is why we shouldnot turn to our politicians for the answers, for they are just that politicians. We need to hear our Engineers, Doctors and Scientists opinions on matters that affect our countries and not someone who does not hold all the answers, yet thinks he/she does...

      grease.monkey.001 - 2011-06-24 13:28

      And conservationists should be turned to as well to make sure the right decision is taken!

  • Pleasethink - 2011-06-24 11:27


  • Vernon - 2011-06-24 11:38


  • Kalabas - 2011-06-24 11:40

    Oh thank God there's still something to rejoice about! Good news becoming all to scarse these days...

  • KaB - 2011-06-24 11:46

    Oh thank god! Logic prevails and the wildlife dodge yet another bullet the fight to survive in 'mans' modern world'!

  • Ann - 2011-06-24 12:32

    ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! Hope the same happens with the proposed hotels in Kruger.

  • Charles Kane - 2011-06-24 13:03

    Thank God!

  • Kristy - 2011-06-24 13:17

    This is fantastic news. When i first heard what was being planned, i was totally shocked.

  • grease.monkey.001 - 2011-06-24 13:22

    Great news, yes! But for how long? Until eternity, I hope! News24 unfortunately does not reveal every detail worthwhile knowing. For example, the fact that there will still be a commercial-road constructed to either side of the park. They may or may not decide to join it up through the park in the near future. The Tanzanian Government has mentioned the possibility of the Southern Route around the park, but has not made it definite yet. Let us just hope for the good of wildlife in the Serengeti National Park that there are no negative impacts imposed on the park. Raphi

  • Julie - 2011-06-24 14:22

    Keep up the pressure and remind this government about the potential damage.

  • Alexis - 2011-06-25 01:16

    SERENGETI ROAD PROJECT NOT STOPPEDThe "candid" letter adressed by Ezekiel Maigto to UNESCO is only a mere trick by Kikewte (and his "lovely" pal Lowassa) to mislead everyone and get away with their plans to start works, and most important for them: to start getting funds from donors... It is well known that African leaders (and also corrupted politicians in other parts of the world) do get a substantial commission free of taxes in Swiss banks or other tax free paradises for accepting "investment money"... The common percentage is 15% of the total money accepted... This may come as a surprise to many, but we all know it and considering the past record of Lowassa and Kikwete, they are not going to be an exception.

  • Alexis - 2011-06-25 01:16

    In short, the letter to the UNESCO, allows them to: 1. Get the cash without further "interruptions" by activists. 2. Get their "percentage" in due course. 3. Go ahead with the highway, which now has less meaning, because if car and trucks CAN NOT cross the Serengeti being the unpaved road under TANAPA control and only for Nat. Park use, why then construct that highway in the first place? 4. The trick will allow Lowassa (a traitor to the local Maasai being himself one of them...) and Kikwete to go ahead with the real reason behind the road, which is apart from capturing a "percentage" of the donor money, to get the soda ash plant under construction, which means another "percentage", this time for the rest of their lives from the Indian investors related to Kikwete's father in law... (see the Dar es Salaam press's latest news on that...) 5. The soda ash plant and the road, will, on the other side, definitively destroy the Maasai cosmology, killing their culture and turning most of them into beggars as their ways of present subsistence will be sacrified for ever.

  • Gerrit - 2011-06-25 17:58

    Somebody forgot to offer a piece of the pie to the guy with the final say, or maybe there are still people with integrity! Defnitely not the joker who defended the building of the road on CARTE BLANCHE!

  • Linda - 2011-06-30 21:30

    Wonderful news ! Thank God and all good people for bringing this about xxx

  • sayila3500 - 2011-07-03 20:11

    Wonderful news. Thank you everyone.

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