In Summary

>> The watchdog said implementation of the Stiegler’s Gorge hydroelectric power project will comply with all the relevant environmental protection measures

Rufiji. The National Environmental Management Council (Nemc) has reaffirmed the government commitment that construction of a huge hydroelectric dam at Stiegler’s Gorge will have no impact on the local ecology.

The government’s environmental watchdog said at the weekend that implementation of the Stiegler’s Gorge hydroelectric power project will comply with all the relevant environmental protection measures at all levels.

The dam will provide 2,100MW of electricity to boost the country’s power supply from the current 1,400MW. However, environmentalists contend that construction of the dam at the heart of the Selous game reserve will hurt the local ecology and also result into resettling of local populations.

President John  Magfuli said recently that he would be going ahead with the Stiegler’s Gorge dam on the Rufiji river.

Nemc and Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) believe the project is inevitable, forcing them to organize a tour of experts to the site.

Speaking to journalists at the weekend, the Nemc acting director general, Dr Vedast Makota, said the team of experts toured the site where the project will be constructed so as to get first hand information about the scheme and its implications on the Selous Game Reserve ecosystem.

“As Nemc, we remain optimistic that the project will be implemented safely without affecting the environment,” he said.

Dr Makota also pointed out that the tour meant a lot in making President John Magufuli’s dream a reality by laying down strategies and take measures that would allow for a smooth undertaking of the project which is expect to be constructed as soon as possible.