Monday, July 3, 2017
Electricity power generation from stiegler's gorge is in place
At last President John Magufuli has closed up the long standing debate which h has been raging on in the country on Stiegler’s Gorge power project. The President has insisted that, “the construction of the mega power dam is there to start at any time. The President made open his views on Saturday last week when he officiated the 41st Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) which this year will take two weeks’ time than the preceding years. President Magufuli said the project critics should stay informed that Tanzania will never reverse its decision to ensure the longstanding dream becomes a reality. “Come rain come sun Stiegler’s Gorge hydroelectric dam must be constructed,” President Magufuli said, as members of the business community, government representatives and the general public listened attentively. Dr Magufuli pointed out that he had already directed the responsible ministry to take charge of the matter and search for the qualified contractor to ensure the project kicks off since the feasibility study had already been conducted. Immediately after President Magufuli announced his resolve to construct the dam for power generation on Selous Game Reserve, conservationists ganged up to criticise the project on grounds that it will bring about irreparable damage to the Reserve’s ecology. According to conservationists, some project’s negative consequences include inundation of significant wildlife habitat, including that of the critically endangered black rhinoceros, as well as a heightened risk of poaching and other illegal activities due to increased human activities. They also claim that the dam would likely have significant negative impacts on downstream land uses, commercial fishing and agricultural industries and the livelihoods of local communities. In his speech the Head of State made it clear that despite opposition from some people, he will not reverse his decision. “We are not going to listen to people who speak about impacts on environment without facts on the grounds. We money for that,” he insisted. He added: “The project idea was conceived after independence under the leadership of the late Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and all those years it remained on paper.” Upon becoming operational, Stiegler’s Gorge power project will catapult the country’s power generation capacity from the current 1,450 megawatts to between 4,000 and 5,000 megawatts. He insisted the the dam will have other spill-over advantages, including fishing, providing water for irrigation and drinking water for wild animals. The President said claims of irreversible damage to the Reserve were groundless since the project will only cover 1,350 square kilometres, which is equivalent to only three per cent of the total 45,000 square kilometres covered by Selous game reserve. He wondered that Tanzania had been blessed with a lot of sources for power generation but many of them were still unutilized, mentioning few of them, including coal, uranium and wind. On Tuesday, Dr Magufuli held talks with an Ethiopian team of experts in electric engineering and hydroelectric dam construction in Dar es Salaam, in which he made it clear that no stone will be left unturned until the project was implemented. He told the Ethiopian Minister for Water, Irrigation and Electricity Seleshi Bekele who led delegation that the project will be of great importance, especially in supporting the country’s industrialization drive. The team from Ethiopia arrived in the country to share experience with its Tanzanian counterpart charged with the responsibility of executing the super project. Dr Bekele said Ethiopia was now generating 4,300 megawatts of electricity from hydro sources, hinting that Addis Ababa envisages 17,000 megawatts by 2020. He affirmed his country’s keenness to cooperate with Tanzania in the endeavour. Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office - Union and Environment – Mr January Makamba, on Tuesday responded to conservationists’ criticism, saying all environmental concerns will be taken care of. “There have been several studies on this mega project carried out in the 1970s and all of them suggested mitigation measures. We hope nothing will go wrong,” Mr Makamba said.