Tanzania World Heritage Site 'Threatened By Dam'

Tanzania World Heritage Site 'Threatened By Dam'

Tanzania plans to build a 2,100-megawatt hydroelectric plant on a World Heritage site famous for its wildlife habitat despite opposition from environmentalists, Reuters news agency reports.

According to a statement from the Tanzanian president's office, President John Magufuli "wants construction of this project to start as quickly as possible and produce an abundant supply of electricity to speed up the development of the country".

It is believed the project at Stiegler's Gorge in the Selous Game Reserve would help the country end long-term energy shortages.

According to UNESCO the 50,000 sq km designated reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Africa, famous for being home to many animal species.

Ethiopian experts are expected in Tanzania this week to give advice on how the project can proceed. Ethiopia has several hydropower projects under construction, including the Grand Renaissance Dam.

Critics, however, say a hydropower dam along a major river running through the Selous Game Reserve could greatly affect wildlife downstream.

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