Tanzanian ministers spar over Kilimanjaro cable car project

  • Monday 08, July 2019 07:31 AM
  • Tanzanian ministers spar over Kilimanjaro cable car project
Sharjah24 – AFP: Tanzania's environment and tourism ministers were at loggerheads Sunday over a plan to put a cable car on Mount Kilimanjaro.
The scheme was announced in April by Tourism Minister Hamisi Kigwangalla as a way of boosting visitor numbers to Africa's tallest mountain.

Feasibility studies are currently underway for the project driven by the tourism ministry. A Chinese and a Western company have reportedly expressed interest.

Environment Minister January Makamba, however, said Sunday it would be his department responsible for issuing a permit for the cable car after examining its potential risks.

Around 50,000 people climb the nearly 6,000-metre mountain every year.

But the tourism ministry hopes a cable car would attract those unable to climb the fabled peak and boost visitor numbers by 50 percent.

Tourism is a major revenue earner for Tanzania, home not just to the storied mountain but to Serengeti National Park, among other natural wonders.

The cable car project has been fiercely opposed by porters associations, who fear it will destroy their livelihoods by providing another path to the "roof of Africa".