An alternate route around the Serengeti clearly makes the most sense for Tanzania’s economy and people as shown in this impressive analysis.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow have published a study showing that a road around the Serengeti (rather than through it) would bring substantially larger social, economic and health benefits to the Tanzanian people. At the same time, a road circumnavigating the Serengeti would allay widespread fears that the highway would be ecologically damaging and could significantly disrupt the annual migration of 1.3 million wildebeest (the largest such migration on the planet).
The study was led by Dr Grant Hopcraft, who said:
“It is important to remain objective about issues of national development especially in relation to wildlife conservation. The central question is: Which route would provide the greatest returns to Tanzania’s economy and social well-being without compromising the ecological integrity and services provided by the Serengeti?
The research conclude that routes going around the Serengeti National Park access twice as many people as the route through it. In particular, the Mbulu route connects the most number of unemployed people to regional economic hubs, and the largest labour force to the most entrepreneurial businesses. It also offers the best agricultural access, has the largest potential for future agricultural developments and links several regional supply chains which would improve national food security. This route also connects the most schools and hospitals and makes the largest contribution towards improving social welfare.
Read the full study here.
For a cost analysis factors in the loss of tourism revenue and employment if the northern route through the Park is built. See the Economic Impact Statement on this site done by Serengeti Watch to see the real cost of the northern route.