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Benefits of the Senapa Road

January 15, 2011 3 comments

Developed. Developing. Third World. First World.

Each pair of words are often used to describe countries which have a high economical status versus those that do not. It makes the pressure to “succeed” greater when the world revolves around money even into the point of pricing nature also known as natural capital.

Tanzania realizes that in order to be a country with an economical presence they need to be able to connect with all their citizens so that they may advance collectively. For this, Tanzania can be proud of the initiative they are taking to provide for their citizens. A particular measure that the leadership of Tanzania hopes to pursue is by creating a new road that transverses the Serengeti National Park (Senapa). Since there are already two roads crossing the park, you may wonder what makes this road significant.

I. Potential tourism.

Tanzania enjoys a healthy tourism industry based mostly around (not exclusively)  the natural spectacle of the wildebeest migration. The creation of a partially paved road opens the means for which tourists could visit remote areas of Tanzania rich in cultural history.

II. Access to hospitals, job opportunities, schools etc.

Though Tanzania is experiencing economic growth, the country still battles poverty. The provisions that the road seeks to provide include access to easier access to hospitals in larger cities or for hospitals to be built in the smaller Musoma. Current access to smaller communities is limited because of poor roads or the lack of roads altogether.

Having served as a temp worker for a few jobs, I understand how holding a job even for a fleeting moment can make a difference. Currently, construction is being planned to begin in 2012. For anyone who may be employed (and trained) from the two small towns, these jobs are essential to assisting the agricultural based communities whose success are as wary as the climate.

In terms of education, this road could open up educational opportunities for residents of Musoma who have secondary education but lack the opportunity to consider post-secondary schooling to now have that chance. As a lifelong learner (for my short time on earth) I believe that everyone should have the means of being educated and seeking further education if they wish.

III. Travelling monies.

With the construction of this new road between Arusha and Musoma, travel is expected to increase greatly. With minerals available in Lake Victoria for the creation of batteries, the increased job market for this area isn’t the only plus. Travelers buying gas, paying for taxis/buses and perhaps paying a toll to use the road all would contribute to the monetary value that can be reaped from this road. The benefit that Tanzania will receive from an industry based in batteries is a form of natural capital and is an ecosystem service.

IV. Access to resources.

Musoma’s current existence tethers on a thread. The viability of the town is contingent on access to resources for the community’s inhabitants beyond an agricultural foundation. President Kikwete noted that one of the benefits of the road is the chance for citizens to have access to electricity and eventually cell phone service. I do not feel I would err to say that this access would also bring in clean water supplies as well, and materials to build homes that can deliver these utilities.

From these four intertwined areas I have found to be the greatest benefits from the construction of the road. The potential for Tanzania’s economy is great but at what cost? In light of the road’s proposal the benefits of the road seem to be outweighed by its cons.

<-Introduction Costs of the Senapa Road->

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To Save the Serengeti Introduction

November 29, 2010 1 comment

In June of 2010, news that Tanzania (TZ) was planning the construction of a 50 km (30 mile) road through the Serengeti National Park (Senapa) was a contradiction to their recognition as a top international conservation authority by many organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, IUCN, and UNESCO. As I’ve been following this story’s development I’ve been learning of the positive and negative aspects of this road’s construction plus weighing each side. So I’ve decided to dissect the issues being addressed into five parts:

I. Benefits of the Senapa road

II. Costs of the Senapa road

III. Senapa alternatives

IV. Questions/Concerns

V. Why do I care?

By taking more than a courtesy look at the Senapa construction, I hope to present a case which reveals how the read would be harmful to the Serengeti ecosystem and citizen livelihoods in a reasonable manner without claiming gloom and doom; only potentially irreversible damage. =)

It helps to know that the word Serengeti is devolved from the Maasai word Siringet which means a vast land that runs forever or (my preferred description) “endless plains where the land meets the sky(UNC)” It is one of the largest national parks in Tanzania and the oldest (Official TZ Parks). Furthermore, TZ is home to the big 5: the lion, elephant, rhino, water buffalo and leopard. Every year hundreds of thousands of wildebeest accomapanied by eland, zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and a host of predators engage in the greatest terrestrial migration able to be witnessed. The Senapa was recognized as a world heritage site as well by UNESCO for its unique cultural values.

Surrounding the Senapa are several communities which is the reason the proposed road has surfaced to connect these estranged communities to larger ones via the 2004 promise campaign promise by President Jakaya Kikwete and construction is designed to begin in 2010. With these facts in mind stay tuned for the benefits of the Serengeti National Park road construction.

 

->Benefits of the Senapa Road

Rothschild Giraffe Now An Endangered Species. – Soysambu Conservancy

August 20, 2010 Leave a comment

allAfrica.com: Tanzania: Serengeti Highway to Go Ahead – President

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

This is a shame.  So much so that I am speechless.

allAfrica.com: Tanzania: Serengeti Highway to Go Ahead – President.

The RSPB: Campaign with us: The Serengeti highway must be stopped now

August 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Seriously, TZ? How do you think a road is going to increase revenue just by providing transport from one country to the next? East Africa benefits greatly from tourism and such a road would affect Kenya and, no doubt, Uganda similarly. Having spent time in Kenya recently for two months I’d heard of the human-wildlife conflicts due to roadkills along their major highway from Nairobi to Nakuru and at least one had occurred while I was present. The number of roadkills (from my observations) have been stemmed because of the fences marking Soysambu Conservancy where many wildlife species reside and attempt to cross into. Will this proposed road have a fence lining it for the many miles it will span the Serengeti? How will Tanzania, who seems to be heading this road project, address poaching? How do they plan to address the biological backlash that is bound to occur because of this road? Roads don’t just appear by waving your hand. It requires tools, large equipment, people and noise. So many months it will take for such a road to nigh completion but what of the environmental ramifications such as erosion, and litter? How will Tanzania alter current management efforts in the Serengeti to prevent environmental degradation or rather spearhead restoration efforts? Perhaps, restoration shouldn’t even be a world that is uttered because I wonder can anything that has an active road passing through it and will be heavily transited even possible to restore….Sorry, Tanzania but this is one piece of “nice tasting” candy that you shouldn’t be trying to chew.

The RSPB: Campaign with us: The Serengeti highway must be stopped now.

Madagascan Bird Extinct: Another Victim of Invasive Species

May 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Madagascan Bird Extinct: Another Victim of Invasive Species.

For reasons like this I pursue my career.