Friday, September 25, 2020

Trans Kalahari railway poses threat to Southern Africa’s undisturbed wildlife corridor

By Calistus Bosaletswe

A cabinet approval during President Ian Khama’s reign was at the centre of controversy as it has a potential to disturb one of the longest migration routes greater than the famed Serengeti wildlife migration in Kenya-Tanzania.

Now a ball has been thrown in President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s court and it’s yet to be seen whether he will reverse the decision to approve construction along the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

After taking over from Khama in April 2018, Masisi moved swiftly to suspend the allocation of ranches that was spearheaded by Ghanzi Land board. This is after the Khama cabinet ÔÇô which included Masisi as Vice President approved the demarcation of ranches along the wildlife migratory route in 2010 despite an advice from a specialised consultant.

There is growing fear that the imminent railroad construction has a potential to affect the wildlife migration between CKGR-KTP corridor. The undisputed migration of wildlife between the two parks has attracted accolades from pundits who define the trajectory of wildlife on the route as an impressive feat, for any land mammal in Africa.

The Telegragh has been informed that a cabinet committee on hunting ban has recommended to President Masisi that  wildlife corridors such as CKGR ÔÇôKTP should remain undisturbed as it support a greater migration of wildlife species.

Pundits have also come out to say that there is need to consider not fencing the envisaged Trans Kalahari Railway line to avoid further blockage of the CKGR-KTP corridor. 

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