Kenya's Amboseli National Park threatened by Chinese road-builder
October 2009: Sinohydro, a Chinese-owned corporation, has been using explosives to excavate a rock quarry in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, endangering migration corridors of elephants and other wildlife. According to local environmentalists, the operation has continued despite a temporary stop order issued in May by Kenya’s high court.
Sinohydro is excavating the quarry to provide materials for a new Emali-Oloitoktok Road, located in the 3,000-acre (1,214-ha.) Osupuku Conservancy, which was created in 2008 to protect a corridor linking Amboseli to Kenya’s Chyullu Hills and Tsavo National Parks. Fiesta Warinwa, spokesperson for The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), has said that the huge burrow pits planned by Sinohydro will permanently damage a corridor used by elephants.
“In ecosystem terms,” Warinwa said, “the connectivity between the national parks would cease to exist.” Michael Zhang, assistant project manager for Sinohydro, said that his company intends to use explosives approved by the Kenyan Ministry of Environment. “We know that explosives will affect the animals, and therefore intend to use them in the day, as the animals use the corridor at night and early in the morning.” He denied that the quarry and workers’ campsite would interfere with wildlife movement.