To the dismay of environmentalists, President John Magufuli has called for bids on a 2,100-megawatt hydroelectric plant to be built in a World Heritage site renowned for its animal populations.
The project in the UNESCO-designated Selous Game Reserve would more than double the country’s power generation capacity, ending chronic electricity shortages.
The Energy and Minerals Ministry said it expected construction of the power plant to be completed within three years. Experts from Ethiopia, which is also building new hydro-electric dams, will advise the government on the project.
But construction of a dam in a major river that runs through the Selous Game Reserve could affect wildlife and their habitats downstream, in one of the largest protected areas in Africa, according to UNESCO. It is known for its elephants, black rhinoceroses and giraffes, among many other species.