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Stieglers Gorge in pristine Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania | Coastweek
STIEGLERS GORGE IN PRISTINE SELOUS PARK TANZANIA -- Plans to build a huge hydroelectric dam in the heart of one of Africa’s largest remaining wild areas have dismayed conservationists who fear that the plans will cause irreversible damage to the Selous game reserve in Tanzania. The Rufiji is Tanzania’s most important river. The basin covers a fifth of the country, providing an estimated mean annual runoff (MAR) of 20.58 billion m3 (or an average flow of 652 m3/s) at the potential dam site of the Stiegler’s Gorge, some 230 km upstream of the river mouth. Above the gorge, the three main tributaries meet and form the headwaters of the lower Rufiji basin; below the gorge are the floodplain and delta of the lower Rufiji. The gorge itself is about eight kms long and 100 m deep. The gorge sits in the middle of the Selous Game Reserve, one of the World’s largest protected and most significant wildlife areas, being roughly the size of Switzerland. The reserve was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the outstanding universal value of its unique ecology in 1982. PHOTOS - COURTESY: WORLD WILDLIFE FUND FOR NATURE - BARNABY DYE, GRED ARMFIELD and JONATHON CARAMANUS

Tanzania to develop hydro-power project plan in Selous Reserve

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli said Tuesday plans were afoot to develop a 2,100-megawatt hydro-power project in the Selous Game Reserve, one of the largest protected areas in Africa.

The Stiegler’s Gorge is planned to be located in the Selous Game Reserve, which was named a World Heritage Site in 1982 and home to one of the greatest concentrations of African elephants on the continent.

President Magufuli held talks with hydro-power generation experts to see how the Stiegler’s Gorge power project could be hastened, said a statement by the east African nation’s Directorate of Presidential Communication at State House.

"The electricity to be generated from the Stiegler’s Gorge will help push the country’s industrialization drive," said the statement.

Magufuli said the Ethiopian government will send a high-level delegation of experts who constructed the Ethiopian hydropower dam to Tanzania to exchange ideas.

Ethiopia has constructed a 4.1-billion-U.S.-dollar Grand Renaissance Dam along the Nile River with capacity to produce 6,000 megawatts.

Conservationists have expressed worries that the hydro-power project and gas and mining projects planned near the reserve were likely to affect its biodiversity.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) placed the Selous Game Reserve on the World Heritage in Danger List after the government planned to undertake the projects.

A team of experts from UNESCO and IUCN who inspected the reserve in February said the reserve would be retained on the Danger List of World Heritage Sites until the government reviewed its laws on exploration and mining.

UNESCO has expressed concerns about the potentially harmful industrial activities threatening the reserve, including uranium mining, oil and gas exploration, and dam construction.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Tanzania to conduct special ecological evaluation in Lake Tanganyika

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania on Monday pledged to conduct a special ecological evaluation in Lake Tanganyika, amid media reports that the lake is under serious environmental degradation.

Isaac Kamwerwe, Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Water and Irrigation made the pledge when speaking in the country’s capital Dodoma, when he was responding to question by Nkasi North MP, Ally Kessy who argued that for the past two weeks, international media have been reporting of environmental dangers at the lake, which pose risks of fish extinction.

"What is the government doing following such claims by the media on environment degradation activities threats to Lake Tanganyika?" the lawmaker queried, arguing that there are serious threats that call for the government interventions to save the lake and creatures in it.

In his response, the deputy minister said that the government would do all it takes to establish the root cause of the problem that threatens the existence of fish in the world’s longest lake and the world’s second deepest after Lake Baikal in Siberia.

Kamwerwe noted that the Tanzanian government was aware on the matter and has started working on them, including taking serious measures to avoid any further environmental challenges.

The official said that a detailed report on the assessment would immediately be adopted by the government through the relevant ministry to overcome the situation in the lake which is being shared by Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi.

He added that the government is set to implement a national-wide specific program of enhancing availability and provision of irrigation water throughout the country by assuring for effective uses of all valleys, rivers, and Lakes.
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Happy Hippo in Stieglers' Gorge along the Rufiji river Tanzania | Coastweek
HAPPY HIPPO IN STIEGLERS' GORGE ALONG THE RUFIJI RIVER: Selous Game Reserve is a driver for sustainable development giving long-term benefits to Tanzania and its people Tanzania needs increased energy to help drive its development. The government has set out its 2025 energy vision in the Tanzania Power System Master Plan (2016 update). WWF opposes developments in Protected Areas that negatively impact on their ecological core values – in the case of World Heritage Sites this is called its Outstanding Universal Value. The IUCN mission in February 2017 identified that the construction of Stielger’s Gorge would impact on the ecology of the Selous and livelihoods beyond the protected area’s borders.  PHOTO - COURTESY: WORLD WILDLIFE FUND FOR NATURE

EARLIER REPORTS:

Tanzania leader presses for hydropower project in game reserve

WWF support Tanzanian halt to mining in Selous Game Reserve

Elephant population dropping sharply in Tanzania Game reserve

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FURTHER READING:

Rufiji Basin Development Authority is philanthropic Government organization

The Facts And Risks Of Building Stiegler’s Gorge Hydro-Power Dam: WWF

             

 

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