How many of us have watched in awe, those wonderful animal documentaries about the Serengeti filled with wildebeests and other creatures? Imagine how our hearts pounded when lions chased creatures or we witnessed the circle of life. Now imagine, right in the middle of this world treasure, a huge two lane road cutting this world treasured park into two parts? This proposed road is an ecological disaster in the making.
The President of Tanzania, in a bid for his last term in office, is pushing ahead with this road, as an economic bid for votes. Trying to convince the world and his people, that this road would economically benefit the country, makes one wonder how short-sighted this President is, or the level of determination for reelection. Does another location exist which would link cities and avoid a negative impact on the Serengeti?
Although this road isn’t supposedly to be paved, the damage will be done, as people rush to build whatever along the road. With additional people, farmers will start to farm the land with cattle and creating the “need” for animal protection as carrion creatures seek an easier type of food. Additional barriers will have to be erected to safeguard animals close to popular places such as waterholes and migratory paths.
Animals will die, as people hit them day and night in their quest for speed to go from one point to the other. Look around other parts of Africa, the bodies of animals and birds will support the concern of unnecessary death of animals protected in this national park. With so many animals on the endangered list, a close proximity for poachers to easily access animals and a fragile ecosystem, one has to question the ultimate cost of this road.
The road will expose wildlife to crowds of people, who would otherwise not pass through this region, increasing stress to animals and vegetation. Increased exhaust fumes will spew toxic material on the plants and grasses many animals depend on for substance. What about the garbage that people will toss on the road as they pass-by, how many animals will become sick and die? What about vehicles that breakdown on this road, how will the government safeguard the lives of these people from the night predators?
How does Tanzania also plan to enforce vehicle speed? One would have to have huge speed bumps every few inches to prevent people from speeding along these roads, especially the transportation trucks and other large vehicles. Road expenses would increase and because the road is gravel, bumps would erode quickly. Once the road is gravel, the complaints would begin and this president or the next president would promise people paved roads to ensure votes.
The Serengeti is a United Nations World Heritage Park, and requires world pressure to ensure a road is NEVER built through the park. If the world does not speak out, and pressure the Tanzanian government to stop this ecologically disastrous project, the balance of the area will be permanently damaged. Once this road is built, civilization will quickly march through the Serengeti, and destroy what has taken Mother Earth, centuries to create.