Newscast Media CAPETOWN—Populations of lions are on the decline in Africa,
according to LiveScience, due to the interaction of the cats with human populations.
Nomadic herding cultures may convert wild habitat to grazing land, thereby reducing
the population of natural prey for the majestic cats. So instead of going after a zebra,
lions will hunt people’s livestock. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media DAR-ES-SALAAM, Tanzania — After being pressured by the United Nations and several environmental groups, the Tanzanian government has dropped plans to build a highway across the Serengeti, that would have hindered migration of wild animals across the plains. At a meeting in Paris last month, the United Nations world heritage body, UNESCO, said Tanzania had to come reconsider its plans to build a highway between Arusha and Musoma, on the banks of Lake Victoria.
“The project is still there without a shadow of a doubt. But the road will be unpaved, so there will be no tarmac road or highway traversing through the Serengeti National Park,” said Tanzania’s Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Ezekiel Maige.
Serengeti Watch, a nonprofit organization opposed to a commercial highway across the Serengeti, acknowledged that the situation had improved, but said that the threat was far from over.
German Development Minister Dirk Niebel said he was pleased with the Tanzanian government’s willingness to look at different solutions.
Niebel has commissioned the government-owned development bank, the German Reconstruction Credit Institute (KfW), to develop plans for alternative routes.
According to Niebel, these plans aim to preserve the unique ecosystem of the Serengeti and advance the region’s economic development.
Colonialism helped preserve Africa
As much as many on the continent may deny this, colonialism was a blessing in disguise, in that, it helped preserve several African landmarks and national treasures. So many times colonialism is spoken of in a negative tone, but if it weren’t for that, Africa would not have its vast national parks, game reserves or
bird sanctuaries like Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya famous for its flamingos. All those lands would probably have been sold or leased out to the Chinese, or so called investors.
The breed of today’s African rulers is so shortsighted, it takes foreign entities like the United Nations to intervene, as these rulers seek to destroy the national treasures of their countries. As for the Tanzanian government, they just couldn’t put two and two together and realize if they built a highway across a national
park, the animals would become roadkill. It took the Germans, who once claimed Tanganyika (Tanzania) as their own, to talk sense into them about the importance of preserving the ecosystem in which the wild animals dwell. The Germans have even pledged to help build an alternate route in order to save Tanzania from herself.
Make no mistake, Tanzania did not willingly come to the table and pencil the deal. I believe there was a lot of arm-twisting to thwart their plans. The point is, if a highway is built, then naturally gas stations or petrol stations as they are called in Africa, would have also been built for refueling. The pollution and exhaust fumes would be enough to destroy these ecosystems. Feeder roads would also have to be built eventually, to lead into the main freeways, and during the migration period when truck drivers are speeding with their 18-wheelers at night, migrating animals would have been at risk of becoming roadkill.
The bottom line
To thwart the plans of building the highway, the Germans must have said to the Tanzanian government: “Word is, you plan to build a multi-lane highway across the Serengeti. Now listen very carefully, we are only going to tell this to you once. Your trans-Serengeti highway plans, aren’t happening under our watch. Here is why. We’ve loaned you billions of Euros that are still unpaid. We both know that it would be impossible for you to pay us back, and not default under the terms of the promissory note agreements. Here’s what’s going to happen.
Remember you put up your natural resources and treasures as collateral for these loans? Do you remember that? Tell you what. If you build, attempt to build, or cause a highway to be built across the Serengeti, not only will we freeze all aid to your country, since the Serengeti is a national treasure, we also will repossess the entire park until you pay us back all the debt you owe us, with the interest being calculated retroactively.
Now, we could go that route, or you could pick up the phone right next to you, dial the number to your contractors, and tell them that the tran-Serengeti highway is dead. We can then continue to give you the leeway on the debt obligations you owe us, and continue to supply you with weapons to protect you
from Kagame in the West. A little birdie also tells us that Museveni’s up North, is investing heavily in second-hand helicopters from the Soviets. We’re sure you’d want to be ahead of the game in this weapons race, wouldn’t you? So these are your options: either your signatures go on the dotted line, promising to cancel the construction plans, or we enforce the terms of the loan agreements. Do you still want to play hardball with us, or are you going to pencil the deal?”
Debt as leverage
Those who have followed by articles know that I’ve made videos condemning the use of foreign debt by the World Bank and IMF to control third world countries. But on second thought, maybe it is not such a bad idea to keep rulers who show a reckless disregard for their countries’ national treasures in check. Sometimes it’s
the only way some absurdities can be stopped dead in their tracks.
Critical thinking, logic or reason sometimes do not make sense to rulers who live in a different reality than their citizens. Every once in a while, for the greater good of a country, it would be in order to attach strict pre-conditions to every dollar that is donated or loaned to rulers who exhibit apathy or display tendencies
to encroach upon their nations’ national treasures. http://www.newscastmedia.com/serengeti.html