Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli has reiterated his governments stance to implement the controversial Stiegler’s Gorge hydro-electricity generation project inside the Selous Game Reserve (SGR) along the Rufiji River Basin, stressing it has multiple benefits.
The President made the remark during his meeting with envoys and representatives of the international organisations at the State House yesterday.
Dr Magufuli used the meeting aimed to hand over government funded title deeds to 67 embassies and international organisations to hit back at critics of the project.
Critics including environmentalists and conservationists who have been several times quoted as saying the project would adversely impact wildlife ecosystem.
However, President Magufuli told the envoys and representatives of the international organisations that apart from generating 2160 MW of electricity, the wildlife conservation was expected to improve after the project has been implemented.
“After all, only 3.5 per cent of the total area in the reserve will be used for hydro-electric power generation. However, wildlife will get enough drinking water compared to the past,” he said.
He added: “Since the wildlife will be better maintained in the SGR than it used be, the implementation of the project will also reduce poaching.” According to him, electricity generation will increase the country’s investment, which will in turn create more jobs for citizens and hence increase revenue collection.
Dr Magufuli said unlike Japan that produces electricity from uranium, Tanzania has not opted using the mineral for power generation, noting that instead it has chosen hydro-electric power generation.
Speaking shortly before receiving the 67 title deeds, the Rwandan ambassador to Tanzania who doubles as the dean of the members of diplomatic cop, Mr Eugene Kaihura, commended the Tanzania government for involving them in the process of relocating to the country’s capital city of Dodoma.