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Tanzania to Construct Hydroelectric Power Plant Despite Criticism from Environmentalists

Magufuli said the project will not affect the environment and will boost the economy through industrialization

tanzania, hydroelectric power plant
Aerial view of the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania. Wikimedia Commons

Despite criticism from environmentalists, Tanzanian President John Magufuli has inaugurated a new hydroelectric power project in Selous Game Reserve, a world heritage site. The project is expected to provide an additional 2,100 megawatts of electricity, which will more than triple Tanzania’s installed hydropower capacity of 562 megawatts.

Currently only 10 percent of households in Tanzania have access to the national grid for electricity, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Magufuli said the project will not affect the environment and will boost the economy through industrialization.

The project will be contained to 3 percent of the Selous Game Reserve, a protected area about the size of Switzerland, Magufuli said. Once completed, the dam will be owned by the Ministry of Tourism. Ahmed Elsewedy, spokesman for Elsewedy Electric, an Egyptian company which has financial interests in the project, said the company will open schools and help boost the economy.

tanzania, hydroelectric power plant
File: Robert moses niagara power plant. Wikimedia Commons

“We are honored to deal with Tanzania,” he said, adding that the company plans to build factories, increase trade, and open technical schools to train employees. “Our main purpose is to make the Tanzanian government, the Tanzanian people, have better [lives].”

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But conservation organizations have been raising concerns about the dam’s environmental impact since plans were released in 2009. The World Wildlife Fund says the project will endanger the livelihoods of some 200,000 people, including farmers and fishermen living downstream from the proposed dam.

According to the WWF, the Selous Game Reserve is one of Africa’s largest remaining wildnerness areas, and is home to elephants, black rhinos and wild hunting dogs. (VOA)

Next Story

Pakistan opposes Construction of Kishanganga and Ratle hydroelectric Plants being built by India

The implementation of twin hydroelectric power plants has been now confirmed

hydroelectric power plant, India, Pakistan
Pakistan opposes Construction of Kishanganga and Ratle hydroelectric Plants being built by India (representative image). Pixabay
  • India has now been permitted to construct hydroelectric power plants
  • The decision has been finalized by the World Bank
  • The two hydroelectric power plants are Kishanganga and Ratle

New Delhi, August 3, 2017: Under certain restrictions from Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), India has been allowed to construct hydroelectric power facilities. This hydro power generation will be implemented on the tributaries of the rivers Jhelum and Chenab. India has been permitted to build the two hydroelectric power plants Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts).

The construction of the hydroelectric power plants had been facing opposition since long. However, the World Bank’s comments have been finalized as the officials from India-Pakistan concluded the discussion over the IWT, mentioned PTI report.

“Among other uses, India is permitted to construct hydroelectric power facilities on these rivers subject to constraints specified in annexures to the treaty,” the Bank declared in its fact sheet.

India and Pakistan are yet to agree on whether the technical design features of the two hydroelectric power plants contravene the treaty. However, it is noted that the discussions on the technical issues of the IWT took place this week “in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation”.

Furthermore, the World Bank has informed that Pakistan has asked it to facilitate the setting up of a Court of Arbitration to look into its concerns about the designs of the two hydroelectric power projects.

On this context, regarding the setting up of hydroelectric power plants, India has asked for the appointment of neutral experts to look into the issues concerned and especially the “technical ones”. The IWT was signed in 1960 after nine years of negotiations between India and Pakistan with the help of the World Bank, which is also a signatory.

The World Bank had assured earlier that the “continued neutrality and impartiality in helping the parties to find and an amicable way forward.”  to the Indian Ambassador. The two countries last held talks over the two projects in March this year during the meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) in Pakistan.

Well, the news of the hydroelectric power plants comes amidst a number of terror attacks and threats by on India by Pakistan based terror groups.

– prepared by Puja Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter: @pujas1994

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