Tanzanian gov’t warns opponents of hydropower project in game reserve

DAR ES SALAAM- A Tanzanian government senior official warned on Wednesday that punitive measures will be taken against opponents of the mega Stiegler’s Gorge hydropower project in the Selous Game Reserve.

Medard Kalemani, the east African nation’s Minister for Energy, said the government will not hesitate to take punitive measures against anyone who will try to block the ongoing Stiegler’s Gorge power generation project.

He made the warning during a meeting that brought together 11 ministers and permanent secretaries that are responsible for the implementation of the project.

“I won’t hesitate taking punitive measures against anyone who will try to block the project in one way or another.

This is because right now implementation of the project is heading towards the right direction and we don’t expect such a thing to happen,” said Kalemani.

Kalemani said the project, which was expected to generate 2,100 megawatts of electricity, will be used to power the standard gauge railway and the rest will be used for industrial and domestic use.

The senior official said since implementation of the project would require several stages, it was important for the ministries responsible for the project to meet for discussions.

In May 2018, the government set aside 307 million U.S. dollars for the construction of the hydropower project. Tanzania, with a population of approximately 54 million, has just 1,500MW of installed grid capacity.

However, the Stiegler’s Gorge project has been a significant concern for many years now due to its potential negative impact on the Selous Game Reserve, a world heritage site renowned for its animal populations and variety of wildlife habitats.

Source: Ghana News Agency