The dam will be constructed in Selous Game Reserve which consists a world heritage site. Due to this fact, the project was highly criticized by environmental organizations for its impact on the natural habitat, however, the decision is final. Once complete, the structure will be owned by Tanzania's Ministry of Tourism.
Selous Game Reserve is located in southern Tanzania and covers an area of about 50,000 km2. It was declared as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 as it preserves animal diversity and undisturbed natural environment. According to President Magufuli, the dam will not affect the protected region.
The project involves the construction of the major dam which will rise at 134 meters along with additional smaller structures. The reservoir will cover an area of about 1,350 km2 with a total capacity of 34 billion m3. The total cost of the project will reach about $3 billion and will be entirely funded by the Tanzanian government.
The hydropower dam will produce 2,115 MW doubling the county's total power generation. Tanzania frequently experiences power outages and the new facility is expected to resolve the problem.
Hassan Abbasi, Chief Government spokesperson and director of the Tanzania Information Services Department, said that the project will provide jobs for about 12,000 people over a 3-year period and will create a tourist attraction facility boosting the local economy. "The project is expected to unleash a myriad of untold benefits to hardworking Tanzanians," Mr. Abbasi, stated.