Proposed Serengeti highway gets a big ‘No’


A ruling from the East African Court of Justice on Friday, June 20 has shut down the proposed 53 km super highway intended for construction across the Serengeti National Park.

elephant, serengeti

Photo by Claudia Hodkinson

The judges have restrained the Tanzanian Government from constructing the road and have declared the operation unlawful.

“The judgment in essence confirms that the treasured Serengeti ecosystem is an invaluable World Heritage Site; and that it deserves optimal protection and restraint from high impact development that can interfere with the functions of the ecosystem and have adverse effects on animals and humankind,” the Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) said in a statement following the ruling.

Southern African Tourism Update reported that in 2010 ANAW filed a lawsuit against the move and a temporary court injunction was awarded to ANAW as deliberations took place.

“ANAW fully respects Tanzania’s sovereignty and its need for national development. However, by taking up this matter, ANAW was in actual fact protecting a resource that would be of future benefit not only to Tanzanians or East Africans but also the entire humanity,” the statement continued.

“This was not a win for ANAW, not for our lawyer, Saitabao Ole Kanchory, not for Serengeti Watch, not for our expert witness John Kuloba, but for the millions of animals in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. It is a win for nature and God’s creation. Nature has won today,” said Josphat Ngonyo, ANAW’s executive director after the judgement.
Related: 9 reasons to go to the Serengeti