Serengeti Update: Highway Court Case

16 September 2013

Editor's Note: This text provided by Friends of the Serengeti. 

The court case against the Serengeti highway being heard in the East African Court of Justice took another step toward resolution.

On August 20, 2013, EACJ resumed its 3rd Quarter session hearing testimony from witnesses for and against the highway.

The government of Tanzania had three witnesses. The African Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW), which brought the case, presented one, from Kenya.

Serengeti Watch contacted dozens of organizations and more than three hundred experts in an attempt to find expert witnesses. No one came forward. Clearly it would have meant serious repercussions in their ability to enter, work or remain in Tanzania in the future. No one was prepared to take this risk.  Read more on witnesses and the case.

Yet ANAW remains optimistic. Read their report here.  The court directed that ANAW file their written submissions by October 10th, and the Tanzania government by November 15. We'll keep you posted.

Road Construction To Begin Around Serengeti

Paved roads on both sides of the Serengeti, connecting Arusha with the Lake Victoria region, are in final stages of planning. Contractors have been selected and the government of Tanzania has funds in its  2013-2014 Budget.

The roads will not be built within the Serengeti National Park itself, but they will border it and cross areas where large numbers of wildebeest and zebras migrate. Wildlife will be forced to cross tarmac roads with commercial traffic, including the Wildlife Management Area in Loliondo.

The government says it will not tarmac the 53 kilometer section crossing the Serengeti National Park to connect the new paved roads. But whether this section will be upgraded for more traffic or eventually paved remains to be seen.  The road currently crossing the park is a seasonal dirt track.

More reading:

Tanzania to resume plans for controversial Serengeti Highway

Serengeti Highway Back on Tanzania's Agenda As Budget Set Aside for Planning.
Tanzania: Construction of Mara Highway to Start Soon, Assures Tanroads
Tanzania: Local Contractors Get 50km Road Tender in Mara