The Serengeti contains the largest protected grassland and savannah ecosystem in the world and is home to the greatest abundance of large mammals anywhere on earth. The Tanzanian government is planning a 54-kilometer long commercial highway right through the Serengeti. The consequences for the world’s last terrestrial mass migration and the ecosystem it supports would be catastrophic. It would cut off some two million herbivores from their vital dry season range. Scientists predict, this would cause the collapse of the migration and the ecosystem dynamics that depend on it. It should also avoid the land of the last 400 Hadza, one of Africa’s last true hunter gatherers.
The solution lies in a route that bypasses the Serengeti and the World Bank and the German government are willing to work with the government of Tanzania on an alternative. A southern bypass would not only spare the Serengeti, but benefit a far greater number of people in the densely populated area in the south east of the Serengeti by connecting them to commercial centres and road networks. At the same time, disadvantaged communities in the remote east of the Park could also be linked up. However, the Tanzanian government remains unconvinced and has so far rejected this win-win position.
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