The ongoing debate on the construction of the Serengeti highway may result our country into great risk of loosing one of its important world heritage sites. There is a great need for the Government of Tanzania to put extra efforts to rescue the Serengeti from losing her unique biodiversity. This can be achieved through taking alternative plans and initiate views from different stakeholders on taking alternative routes for the construction of the highway.
Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (WCST) in collaboration with Lawyer's Environmental Action Team (LEAT) conducted research on the proposed Serengeti road from Mto wa mbu - Lake Natron shores - Loliondo and Waso of Ngorongoro District to Mugumu in Serengeti District. The aim of the research was to get people’s views on the proposed road and building the base of conducting future awareness workshops.
The general result of the research was that, many people would support road construction regardless of the negative impacts on Serengeti National Park. Ordinary people want to see the road passing near their settlements. Little attention is given to the welfare of the Serengeti as a National Park. There are however indications that people are willing to learn about conservation of nature and the interrelationship with their livelihoods as they were happy with awareness workshops and invited more similar workshops in the future.
This is an opportunity for the environmental media NGOs such as EMNeT, LEAT, WCST and JET to promote community outreach and awareness raising services around the areas where the proposed road is expected to pass. Also to develop more environmental sensitization campaigns with the community around proposed road.
Alternatively study can be undertaken on how to link the districts north of the Serengeti (especially Loliondo) to the existing road network without crossing the Serengeti National Park. The project can also be easily implemented through requesting of financial support from development agencies for implementation of Serengeti alternative routes.
Glory Lyimo-YET 2011