What’s more, dams don’t last forever. They need to be retired and dismantled and this bears a high financial cost, too. „The cost of removing a dam once its useful life is over is extremely high, and should be taken into account when computing the total cost of a new hydro development,“ Moran notes. „If the cost of removal had to be included, many dams wouldn’t be built. It would be far more expensive to produce a kilowatt-hour of electricity via a hydro complex with a useful life of 30 to 50 years, like those under construction in Brazil.“
The Tanzania Forest Service has closed a tender for the sale of over 2.6 million trees that would result in the large-scale logging inside Selous Game Reserve, one of Africa’s most important wildernesses areas and home to globally important populations of elephants, black rhinos, African wild dogs and hippos.
This logging is designed to harvest the trees in the area that would be flooded if the proposed Stiegler’s Gorge hydropower project goes ahead. It would remove trees in a 1,436km2 area in the heart of the Selous Game Reserve – a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982.
The tender is in clear breach of Tanzanian law, as an Environmental Impact Assessment has not been completed, and encompasses an area described by UNESCO and IUCN as containing “the most important ecological elements of the reserve”.
Over 2.6 million trees may be cut off in Selous Game Reserve when the Stiegler’s Gorge hydroelectricity project takes off in July 2018. To meet the country’s energy needs, the government is planning to build a huge hydropower dam in the heart of Selous Game Reserve.