Tanzania Government Seeks Approval for Construction of Controversial 452-kilometer Serengeti Road

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The government of Tanzania is still seeking approval of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to do the upgrading works on the roads that are found and build a Controversial 452-kilometer Serengeti Road inside the national park in the north after the earlier plans that they had set failed to go through.

This move to seek permission from the UNESCO is as a result of the El Nino rains that affected the roads in the national park adversely. This information was reveal by Mobhare Matinyi to reporters in Dodoma last Sunday.

 The Controversial 452-kilometer Serengeti Road

The Tanzania government had come up with plans between the year 2005 and 2012 to build a tarmac highway that stretches up to 452 kilometers and would connect Arusha in the northern part of Tanzania to Musoma which is located on the shores of Lake Victoria but the project was unfortunately stopped after a civil suit was filed by the animal welfare groups that were against the construction of the road in the Serengeti National Park.

According to the spokesperson of the government, Mobhare Matinyi, made a statement in Dodoma on the 10th of March that the government had come up with a technical document that they will submit to UNESCO as they seek an approval for upgrading to tarmac, set up concrete pavements, of the roads that are located inside the Serengeti National Park.

“Our assigned experts are done with drafting the proposal, and right now we are waiting an approval response from the UNESCO,” Matinyi added. Additionally, he also mentioned that the Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) is preparing a proposal that they would present to UNESCO seeking the permission to allow them put hard surface on the Serengeti National Park roads. The hard surface will target a total of 4 main roads which are mainly used by visitors and cargo and also for transporting passengers. Mr. Matinyi also revealed that their main target was to get hard surface on the roads in the national park in order to promote tourism activities.

However, Mr. Matinyi revealed that a decision had not been reached on whether the suggested hard surface will be of tarmac or another type, citing an example of a road located in Ngorongoro that will have a hard surface established without using tarmac.

About Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park was established in the year 1951 and stands as the third biggest national park in Tanzania. The national park covers a total area of 14,763 square kilometers. Additionally, the Serengeti National Park was enlisted as one of UNESCO World Heritage site in the year 1981.

This national park is known for the wildebeest migration whereby a total of 1.5 million of these animals. Additionally, it is also the home for all of the big five animals namely: leopard, lion, rhino, buffalo, and the elephant.

In the year 2010, the government of Tanzania had come up with a proposal of constructing a 480 kilometer commercial highway that would connect the Lake Victoria region with the eastern part of Tanzania and would cut through the Serengeti National Park.

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