Thursday, June 18, 2009

CORPORATE POWER CASE STUDY - The Mighty Zambezi River: Could it Really Be Turned Into a Shipping Lane?

The Victoria Falls. Talks between the territor...Image of Victoria Falls via Wikipedia

The Mighty Zambezi River Could it Really Be Turned Into a Shipping Lane? by Tony Peel

Worrying reports have popped up recently 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 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.

Developers intend to dredge some sections, while canals and locks will be used to circumvent rapids. Simple? Well the Cahora Bassa and Kariba dam walls will also have to be circumvented, apparently via a ship lift.

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 so far? Have we not learned 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.

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?

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 East, might actually get this project off the ground and destroy one of the world's natural havens.

We have to take action and stop this from happening

Before you can really live you need to find something worth dying for! Please if you have any comments or opinions regarding this go to the website below and have your say.

The authors of this article Tony and Boo Peel are Zimbabweans who are passionate about their country. They have developed an informative and unique website all about Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls - A Natural Wonder of the World.

Please visit their website the - You will be amazed at the enormous volume of free information available.

Follow this link to add your comments and opinions about the Proposed Zambezi Seaway.


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