Government on war path over controversial project

03Oct 2018
Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala
DAR ES SALAAM
Financial Times
Government on war path over controversial project
  • President Magufuli blasts a new environment audit report on the Stiegler’s Gorge project by a team of Tanzanian experts and orders his government to change recommendations of expert report findings in favour of "national interests"

PRESIDENT John Magufuli says his government will not budge from implementing the hugely controversial Stiegler's Gorge hydro-power project, despite strong concerns from conservationists against construction of a mega dam in the Selous Game Reserve, which is a renowned World Heritage site.

Magufuli slammed a recent environment audit of the project by a team of Tanzanian experts and ordered his government to change recommendations of the report in favour of broader "national interests."

"I have already issued instructions that they should change the recommendations of the report by the so-called Tanzanian environmental experts," the president declared in Dar es Salaam last week while launching the country's first flyover at the TAZARA intersection.

"One of the recommendations of the report is that latrines to be used by employees of the proposed hydropower station should be located nearly 10 kilometres away from the site."

Magufuli also dismissed other recommendations of the experts, which he said call for environment screening of all construction materials and other objects brought to the site of the project to minimise any possible impact to the surrounding area.

He also took issue with a recommendation that any future mechanical repairs at the proposed hydropower dam should be done away from the site to avoid contaminating the environment.

“A few Tanzanian experts, for reasons best known to themselves, have decided to become obstacles to the Stiegler's Gorge project,” he said.

 

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