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Logging in East Africa
© Simon Espley

The Tanzania Forest Services (TFS) has invited tenders for large-scale logging in the Selous Game Reserve, a world-renowned wildlife area, where it plans to construct a large hydropower plant. 

TFS has placed a tender invitation on its website inviting bids for logging of standing trees with a total volume of almost 3.5-million cubic metres in the Rufiji district, setting in motion plans to develop the project.

“Our intention is to clear the project area before implementation of the project starts,” said Dos Santos Silayo, Chief Executive of the Tanzania Forest Services Agency.

The logging tender will be opened on Wednesday morning at the TFS office in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, according to the document.

By clearing the trees, the construction of the Stiegler’s Gorge hydropower project will be able to commence in June this year. Upon completion, the plant will provide 2,100MW of electricity to a country that is currently extremely under-supplied. The plant will be designed to supply more than double the country’s power generation capacity.

According to Tanzania’s Minister for Energy, Medard Kalemani, the plant is expected to completely end the country’s power woes and sustain local industries with electricity and sell the surplus power to neighbouring countries.

The Selous Game Reserve is a Unesco-designated reserve and is one of the largest protected wild areas in Africa, home to elephants, lions, rare birds and other species. Conservationists are opposed to this project as it is likely to have a potentially negative impact to wildlife in the area, especially for the critically endangered black rhinoceros.

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