Tanzania revises Serengeti highway project

Tanzania will go ahead with the $500million controversial road project through the Serengeti National Park despite protests from environmental groups.

In face of protest from environmental groups, the initial plan to build an asphalt road has now been dropped and will leave out 120 kilometres (in the park) as gravel to reduce impact on wild life. According to revised plan, roads outside the national park will be paved, but roads leading to the park and those inside the wildlife sanctuary will not be paved.

Tanzania will deploy rangers from the state-run Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) at checkpoints and control the flow of traffic through a 53-km section of the road cutting across the park to avoid disturbing the annual migration of wildebeest.

The Serengeti Highway will be a major commercial highway stretching from Arusha to Musoma covering a distance of around 480 km. Upon completion, the road will connect northern communities that currently have little access to markets.

Earlier, environmentalists have campaigned against the highway project arguing that it will endanger millions of wildebeests and zebra that annually cross from Serengeti into the Masai Mara in Kenya.