DODOMA, Tanzania (AP) — Tanzania’s president has inaugurated a huge hydroelectric dam project in the country’s largest wildlife reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site, calling it the start of economic liberation.
Some wildlife groups have expressed dismay over the $2.9 billion Stiegler’s Gorge project in the Selous Game Reserve, which the United Nations calls one of Africa’s largest protected areas.
President John Magufuli told Friday’s gathering that the reserve has been considered a potential energy source for decades in the East African nation where electricity prices remain high.
He also announced a plan to turn a large part of Selous into a wildlife park named after Tanzania’s first president, Julius Nyerere.
Tanzania’s energy minister says the 2,115-megawatt dam’s construction is now at 15% and will take another three years to complete.