Members / Projects / Perspectives

Lake Natron Residents Opposed to Soda Ash Mine

Photo © Lip Kee Yap

A report recently published by Birdlife International and Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania revealed widespread opposition among local residents to a planned soda ash mine on Lake Natron.  The reactions were gathered as part of an extensive cost/benefit analysis of the construction of the mine in the middle of what is a vital nesting ground for one-third of the world’s population of lesser flamingos.  In addition to their finding that 75% of local residents were opposed to the construction of the mine, the report’s authors also projected a loss on investment of between $44 and $492 million over the next 50 years were the mine to proceed.  Alternatively, they predicted earnings of between $1.28 and $1.57 billion over the same period if the government were to instead invest in local tourism and environmental protection in the area.  Read the full story on

Conservation organizations, including Friends of Serengeti, have been steadfast in their opposition to the planned mine.  It is now clearer than ever that there is little justification for what is sure to be an environmentally devastating project, though to date, Tanzanian government officials have been unwavering in their support for the mine.