It's never been 'Off' the Agenda Ivan.
Actually I didn't know it was off the agenda.
It was never off the agenda, and has been publicly stated that it was proceeding, more than once or twice.
In order to serve the people of Mara Region this is the only reasonable way to do this. It is not a highway, it is designed to be a dirt/gravel roadway through the Serengeti part, just like the roads which have been built through the Serengeti to serve the tourist trade, thus making the central Serengeti accessible to tourists. Let's see, the roads through the Serengeti for the tourists to get to the central areas to view the animals are OK, the major Iringa/Morogoro Highway through Mikumi is OK, but similar roads to serve the people of Tz who are isolated by the Serengeti and Lake Victoria are not OK. Something wrong with this kind of narcissistic thinking, IMO.
It is my hope that the government people will always put the people of Tanzania's needs first and uppermost in their policy making decisions; especially over loud unreflective protests. That hasn't always been the case in the past, but it is in keeping with Nyerere thinking.
Just my 2 cents worth.
... but did you read the comment below the article about new government levies for all services being attached to already high costs. And these might go into effect with limited (if any) waiting or sufficient prior notice, rather once fully-paid safari visitors are already in country.
Who would benefit from such a highway? Not the people but mining companies, politicians, and big landholders. A southern route around the Serengeti would benefit more people. Join the conversation on preserving the Serengetionline at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/STOP-THE-SERENGETI-HIGHWAY/125601617471610?ref=ts
No one in the right mind thinks a commercial highway through the Serengeti is a good idea except mining companies or other interests. I lead groups there and we go to see the wildebeest and zebra - not lorries zooming on an all weather road with over 800 vehicles a day (by the governments own estimates). Roadkills, human settlement and the stopping of the migration are just a few of things that would occur if a commercial road is put through. I understand the German government has offered to pay for better roads on either side of the park for the villages there to get to the nearest large town. There is no need for them to go THROUGH the Serengeti. Go to www.savetheserengeti.org to read more about why this is such a bad idea.
It has come to my attention that an "expert" on TRIP ADVISOR is under the mistaken impression that a highway - which would be all weather gravel and eventually upgraded to tarmac - is a GOOD thing for the Serengeti. Perhaps he thinks all the new hotels, petrol stations, cell towers, markets, cafe's and the like will be good for the tourism industry.
In fact over 300 scientists from around the world say the construction alone will stop the wildebeest migration causing a TOTAL COLLAPSE OF THE ECOSYSTEM thus destroying the Serengeti - the very thing that people come to Tanzania for. Over $1.38 Billion is spent annually in Tanzania , most in the Serengeti which park fees pay for other parks maintenance. Over 600,000 people are employed in the tourism industry.
Do you want to contribute to TOTAL COLLAPSE OF THE ECOSYSTEM of the Serengeti?
Please promote responsible tourism, not destruction of our earth.
The Tanzanias will be selling themselves short if they allow this to go ahead.Tourism is based mainly on wildlife viewing and the spectical that is a world phenomena, the Serengetti, in this country. To once again allow human greed and desire for the Earths minerals to usurp what is most important on our planet, ie LIFE, is for us to watch us destroy ourselves. The argument it will bring more funds to the country is dubious being that the Chinese are the ones behind these projects and where they have imput in other countried is proof and evident that it is they and their country that benefit with the locals either being paid minimal wages or not employed by them at all. The locals will loose their roots, their land and their meaning in life. The wildlife will become extinct as it is absolutely necessary for them to be nomadic in these ever changing lands to find food. To allow this road to be build is to agree to the death of Africa as we know it.
Stay with the Southern route that would somewhat stay on the borders of the park. Putting a highway for industrial traffic THROUGH the park would be a disaster, totally disrupting the lives of the wildlife and the major migration routes. I really appreciate the work of Serengeti Watch for informing the world about this ill-conceived project. The company Trip Advisor needs to become better informed. Please do not promote a highway that would be so disruptive to the beautiful Serengeti Park in beautiful Tanzania.
This is quite simple and sadly is a just a high profile example of what is happening throughout the world: A massive investment in infrastructure by powerful foreign nations in a rush to grab untapped natural resource. Government ministers get rich, mining/oil companies etc make big money, massive wealth is exported many times that of which the local area receives.
It astounds me that we as a species continue in our relentless quest for growth and consumption of the earths resources, blindly ignoring the laws of ecology and population dynamics that we have observed in other species.
The fragmentation of the serengeti saddens me greatly, I hope this road is stopped, but in reality it will happen one day soon, look at our 'progress' in the last century, give it another 100 years and we will have industrialized/exploited all of these areas that we currently view as wilderness.
My only comfort is the belief that we will wipe ourselves out in this process. We have been around for only a fraction of the time that this planet has existed, life will continue to evolve long after we are gone.