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Local environmentalists oppose soda ash plant
May '11
The directives issued by the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete to accelerate the work of setting up a soda ash plant on the shorelines of Lake Natron, has met resistance from a group of local environmentalists who are claiming that, the plant would be a threat to existence to flamingo species in the region.

Proposal for this project for the first time was floored in 2008, but was put off, following a hullabaloo from the domestic as well as foreign environmentalists.

Tata Chemicals, an Indian conglomerate, has already pledged to fund the project.

A coordinator of the Lake Natron Consultative Group in a recent statement said that, setting up of the plant would not only badly affect the already feeble mineral balance but would even annihilate algae on which the Natron Lesser Flamingos survive.

According to the environmentalists, setting up of the plant in the area would disturb the algae ecosystem which would make it difficult for flamingo habitats to survive, and would ultimately result in extinction of the bird in the area over the next five years, the coordinator said.

He further said that, this magnificent bird is an aboriginal of East Africa, and their Lake Natron based habitat is the only hotbed which aptly suits their needs due to its salinity. Also, the lake is more suitable for these birds owing to its isolated location, free from any human habitat or development.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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