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Zambezi Seaway Project

Recently worrying reports have popped up in the press that the Zambezi Seaway Scheme, first mooted in the 1950’s by the Portuguese to reduce freight costs for landlocked countries in Southern Africa, is back on the cards.

The proposed Seaway would be 1500kms long stretching from Victoria Falls in western Zimbabwe to the Indian ocean in the eastern Mozambique. Promoters of this gigantic scheme - The Zambezi Seaway Corporation, say it will offer a cheaper, faster and more efficient route to the ocean, thus boosting local economies.

The current cost of transporting the vast quantities of goods and minerals to the coast is prohibitive. Therefore by floating these goods transportation cost would be dramatically reduced thereby bringing them onto the world market at greatly reduced prices leading to an industrial boom.

Elephants - Zambezi River

Elephants drink and wallow in the Zambezi River as the sun goes down

Could this really be true?

Reading several reports on the subject the people behind this corporation are actually considering this. Have we not made enough mess of our planet earth so far? Have we not learnt anything from the mistakes we have already made? Do we really need another industrial boom - have the last industrial booms not done enough damage to our world? Damage… that many of us are now trying to correct.

The concept is based purely on economic advantages to the people of the region and the receiving world economies. There is no doubt that this would stimulate the economies, but at what cost, it’s all about people people people.

No one seems to have considered the impact such a project will have on the environment and the abundant wildlife that thrives along the banks of the Zambezi or in her waters.

It’s not ours to destroy, what right do we have to take one of the most magnificent spectacles in nature and turn it into a man made seaway for our own economic gain. We are custodians of this planet… is this what you would call looking after it?

If anyone, including the people behind the concept were to take the time to experience this place of incredible beauty in its full entirety, they would not be able to contemplate destroying it. This 1500km stretch of water is home to some of the most outstanding areas of wildlife left on our planet.

Elephants on the Zambezi River

Lovely colours can be seen at sunset. These elephant drink from a small tributary, the mighty Zambezi can be seen in the back ground

I respect that every one of us on this planet has a different point of view. That if you didn’t know the Zambezi intimately, then you could be forgiven for thinking nothing of changing it from a place of extraordinary natural beauty into an economic viability.

But for those of us who do know this place, we must put every effort into exposing the worth and beauty of this place, to the people behind this scheme. Showing that if we destroy it, it can never be replaced - is that fair to our children, just so that we can export minerals cheaper. All for the gain of mankind is that really what it’s about. Does the animal kingdom really have no say in this at all?

Baby African Elephant

A young Elephant wallows at a waterhole at Mana Pools one of the National parks on the banks of the Zambezi

The Zambezi is Africa’s fourth largest river and flows from north western Zambia through Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and finally into the ocean in Mozambique. The river supports two of southern Africa’s largest Hydro- electrical power stations one at Kariba on the Zimbabwe - Zambia Border and one at Cabora-Bassa in Mozambique.

The cost is expected to top US$3 billion which hopefully is enough of a deterrent to stop this scheme from proceeding. The worrying thing is, that some nutcase in a government department who receives a big enough spin off, along with possible backing from the Chinese, mighty actually get this project off the ground and destroy one of the world’s natural havens.

 

Beautiful Carmine Bee-eaters migrate to breed in the sand cliffs of the Zambezi every year around September time. Thousands of them can be seen - it is a breath taking sight.

Before you can really live. You need to find something worth dying for!

Tourism is a major income earner for the region. Here tourists are on a canoe trip on the lower Zambezi which normally last 3 to 9 days. It is a true wilderness experience. Can you imagine a ship in the background!!!

Please if you have any point of view we would love to hear it. Just fill in your comments in the boxes below and we will publish them.

 

Have your say about the proposed Zambezi Seaway Project

This is a hot topic, with many different view points. Please let us know yours, it might well have an impact....

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Tori 
Why would you want to ruin a potential of Billions of dollars in eco tourism for a hand full of beans? Stupidity reigns supreme. BSc Environmental …

Our environment 
What we need in Zimbabwe are qualified environmentalists, there are many with opinion but based on nothing. We encourage more and more dams for hydro-power …

Priceless ecosystem 
it's not worth destroying this ecosystem to which no price can be attached.

I think it is a great idea 
I think it is a great idea they should start drilling as soon as possible because as rich as the area is with wildlife but still it is still underdeveloped …

the saver 
please leave this river alone let it be freee adding boats will kill the wildlife please leave this river ALONE DO NOT HURT OR DO ANYTHING TO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! …

Graham McDonald 
Have the egg heads who proposed this scheme actually looked at the devastation we as man have caused around the world. Please respect the rights of animals …

tj 
of course this sea way should go ahead, just like all the big engineering projects of last 200 years in the uk europe and usa, made these regions better …

Ron Campbell - Campbells Biltong 
As a Rhodesian Born, I was so lucky to have been on Operation Noah - Kariba with my Dad and so many others saving those beautiful Beasts from the rising …

My blood chills... 
As and addendum to my previous note...I have just visited the Zambezi Seaway Project website and I was shocked beyond belief at what I read there. …

Find another way and save the Zambezi River from commercial shipping! 
The thought that the Zambezi River may be converted into a commercial waterway chills my soul! I fell in love with this mighty river on my very first trip …

Yes I support the Zambezi Seaway Project 
I am in support of the Zambezi Seaway Project. It is not very different from the many canals that were constructed in England during the industrial revolution. …

So... 
Who is volunteering to be a peasant and live in a verminous mud hut on a bowl of sorghum porridge a day? Did I mention the toil, disease and early death? …

Oh NO you dont 
Having just returned from Vic Falls I am horrified to read of such intentions. This cannot happen because it will impact on too many animal, eco sysytem, …

Why is everybody interested in maintainimg the environment and protecting nature in africa at the expense of industrialization? 
Why is everybody interested in maintainimg the environment and protecting nature in africa at the expense of industrialization? Why can't we participate …

Effects of seaway project on savanna species Not rated yet
Hi I am a Biodiversity and Ecology student at Stellenbosch University. I am currently doing a project on the effects of this project on species in the …

Greed Not rated yet
Sadly, greed drives many and in the process destroys much.

BRUCE CROFTS Not rated yet
Anybody who has ever been to The Falls will tell you " It's not possible "

Martina Kaunda Not rated yet
What God has blessed us with naturally should never be reframed into ventures that will not benefit the nations and it's people. Let us be humble and not …

MYTH, LEGEND, IMAGINATION OR FACT? Not rated yet
MYTH, LEGEND, IMAGINATION OR FACT? extracted from http://zimfarmer.itgo.com Tourism Victoria Falls and the opportunity of viewing game …

We never learn from our mistakes. Not rated yet
Is it too late to learn from our mistakes? I, for one, sincerely hope not. Many people make the mistake of believing that money is the only thing of importance …

YOU NEED TO TAKE TIME TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR Not rated yet
We have taken the time to consider how you people are destroying life on the Zambezi. You support Kariba and Cabora Bassa Dam taking away the home from …

Promote saving wildlife and land Not rated yet
It is clear that none of those commenting will ever raise funds to dredge the river, stop flooding, save wildlife and there is no aid to undettake this …

Please, NO! Not rated yet
What in the world does Zimbabwe have, ANYWHERE, along the length of the Zambezi that could come anywhere near justifying the wanton destruction that would …

NO WAY! Not rated yet
We have to stop this even being spoken about! What a disgrace. WE cannot let this happen. To destroy such a wonderful area for commerce is unforgivable. …

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Double Standards Not rated yet
What is required is enviromentalists with common sense At the moment the zambezi floods, environmentalists dont seem to notice, flora and animal life …

Rita, Zambezi Fan! Not rated yet
And what about the Lozi people? Barotseland. They come before shipping! Hopefully it will be cursed. I am soooo angry at this!!!

Please leave this river alone Not rated yet
Please leave this river alone!!!! Can Wal-Mart and others find another way. Why must you destroy everything for the almighty dollar? Don't you have enough …

Appalling Catastrophe Not rated yet
After spending most of my adult life in Rhodesia and then Zimbabwe I know this would be an appalling catastrophe. Apart from anything else the countries …

Think again Not rated yet
this is the last straw they have destroyed to great countries and now the zambezi

Malcolm Minino Not rated yet
I have only just found out about this proposed project and I am shocked. I know Musi-oa-Tunya well, having visited the falls and the surrounding area several …

Nyami Nyami will wait. Not rated yet
The dam wall of Lake Kariba is in pretty sad condition, and requires continuous maintenance to stop seepage and slippage. In the inevitable event of rupture …

Mozambique to Ship Coal on Zambezi  Not rated yet
Mozambique will overcome a shipping bottleneck to export its vast coal deposits by finding ways for barges to navigate the Zambezi River, the transport …

this idea is stupid Not rated yet
If we keep polluting water with boats and our transport means we will run out and this will disturb the many animals that depend on it for survival. …

What would you expect from an engineer? Not rated yet
An engineer from Leeds? I wonder if Roger has a vested interest in this project? I wonder if he's already involved in the planning which would mean potentially …

Unbelievable! Typical Greed and Corruption in Africa! Not rated yet
Although I think this is unbelievable I have lived in Africa too long not to roll my eyes and claim how a plan like this is so typical of the greed and …

A Zimbabwean Chief-of-at-large Not rated yet
Hell no, such a project will destroy the only natural resources we have in central Africa. It will kill all the wild animals as people stampede to ferry …

Loss of Tourism Not rated yet
Hi I can't believe people are even considering this! As you have pointed out under the last picture of the canoes and the buffalo- Tourism is a major …

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