Lobbyists against Serengeti highway change tune


(eTN) – It could not be ascertained if or how several organizations previously totally opposed to the planned highway across the Serengeti migration routes arrived at their sudden change of heart, but several organizations were quoted yesterday as having given qualified support to the project.

While insisting that a full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment must be carried out by qualified consultants before a single grader moves, the undercurrent of their position has fundamentally changed when they offered a different viewpoint, expressed on behalf of another organization by a representative of SEPDA – Serengeti Environmental Protection and Development Association.

Some sections of conservationists opposed to the highway immediately threw doubt on the research done by SEPDA, or their mandate, and raised questions – without present answers – as to who the backers, funders, and Godfathers of SEPDA were, and what, if any links, they had with government.

This is another twist in the tail of this story, which has captivated NGOs, conservation groups, organizations, and individuals from across the world, all demanding in unison to spare the Serengeti the fate of destruction and obey the teachings of Tanzania’s founding father the late “Mwalimu” Julius Nyerere, who was, during his time, throwing all the support behind conservation efforts spearheaded by the Frankfurt Zoological Society and many others.