To improve its power supply, Tanzania is risking damage to one of Africa’s largest protected wild areas.
Last Thursday, John Magufuli, Tanzania’s president, confirmed the government’s intentions to press on with plans to build a hydropower dam which is expected to provide an additional 2,100 megawatts of electricity for the country. There’s just one problem: the dam will be built in Selous game reserve, a UNESCO-designated heritage site.
Spanning over 20,000 square miles, a land area larger than Denmark, Selous is considered one of the largest protected wild areas in Africa and is home to several wildlife species as well as an “exceptionally high variety of habitats.”
In building the dam, which has been part of Tanzania’s electricity master-plan since the mid-1980s, Magufuli hopes to replicate Ethiopia’s success in diversifying its power generation methods.